Saturday, 31 December 2011

Fourth franchise not finalised (Burkina Faso)

In response to a query from the League of Consumers of Burkina (LCB) at the beginning of December 2011 regarding the fourth telecom operator in Burkina Faso, the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Posts (ARCEP) said that the process was 'still ongoing’.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Personalized mobile services for Vodafone Egypt subscribers | Nokia Siemens Networks

Personalized mobile services for Vodafone Egypt subscribers | Nokia Siemens Networks:

Operator upgrades its One-NDS platform provided by Nokia Siemens Networks to better manage subscriber data.

Subscribers of Vodafone Egypt, the country’s largest telecom operator, will soon enjoy a host of customized services. The operator is upgrading its subscriber data management system built on the One-NDS platform provided by Nokia Siemens Networks. This will enable Vodafone Egypt to speed up the process of launching new, targeted services.

“With a fast growing emerging market, characterized by increased uptake of smartphones and tablets, subscribers are looking for more, highly personalized services,” said Tony Dolton, chief technical officer, Vodafone Egypt. “Staying competitive demands introduction of new features and services at a faster pace. With its simplified architecture and high resilience, Nokia Siemens Networks’ One-NDS platform will enable us to do just that.”

“Vodafone Egypt understands the importance of investing in technology and solutions to improve network quality and enhance customer experience. This implementation will provide the base for a more efficient and flexible management of subscriber data,” added Sharaf El-Din Mohamed, head of the Vodafone Egypt customer team at Nokia Siemens Networks. “This project is a huge step forward for Vodafone Egypt to be able to analyze current market segments, while improving subscriber loyalty.”

Nokia Siemens Networks is upgrading its comprehensive subscriber data management solution, including the One-NDS platform, and providing its Home Location Register (HLR), and Mobile Number Portability (MNP). The One-NDS platform unifies fragmented data into a single repository and is more efficient than having multiple databases for different front-end applications such as HLR and MNP. The solution makes it easier to create and launch new services, and enhances Vodafone’s operations and processes, leading to a faster and higher return on investment.

Nokia Siemens Networks’ NetAct network management system will enable effective monitoring, management and optimization of Vodafone Egypt’s network. Under the contract, the company is providing consulting and care services that include hardware and software maintenance and competence development. Nokia Siemens Networks is also responsible for the entire project management.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

LTE arising (Africa & Middle East)

Global LTE subscriptions have already passed the 3.7 million mark in 3Q 2011, spread across 36 global networks. In Saudi Arabia there have already been commercial network launches from Zain Saudi, STC, Mobily, and in the UAE by Etisalat from September 2011, and over 26 LTE commitments. As a result the Middle East has initiated a major push towards commercial LTE adoption, besides pioneering in the commercial release of TD-LTE user devices. Read more

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

West Africa Mobile Network Operator Statistics: 2Q 2011

West Africa Mobile Network Operator Statistics: 2Q 2011:

A & ME SUBSCRIBER STATISTICS: West Africa Mobile Network Operator Statistics: 2Q 2011
AFRICA: Samsung exclusive for Airtel
BAHRAIN: Cuts to promote competition TRA considers roaming tariff alerts
EGYPT: TE expects interconnect windfall
GHANA: MTN shows farmers the benefits of text alert service
Nokia counts cost of counterfeits
IRAN: Voluntary restraint by Huawei
ISRAEL: Golan formally named fifth MNO
JORDAN: Orange chases diminishing Internet returns
Third 3G network lines up for launch
KENYA: Safaricom seeks senior technician Second outage for Safaricom M-PESA
KUWAIT: Campaign management for Zain
VIVA shares for local bourse
MALAWI: TNM turns away from talks
MOROCCO: Mobile interconnect rate cuts stepped-up
NIGERIA: Ministry backs infrastructure protection campaign
NCC targets three GSM ops over poor QoS
Starcomms reduces debt and sees data revenues rising
SOUTH AFRICA: Adverse weather affects Telkom network
Spectrum briefing re-scheduled
SWAZILAND: MTN readies for 3G
TANZANIA: Global reach for M-PESA
Reassessment for PME
Second phase funding for Helios
Vodacom loses interconnect challenge
TUNISIA: TT told to speed up LLU
V3D for TT
UGANDA: MTN, AT form new joint venture
UNITED ARAB EMIRATES: Okandan takes senior role at Etisalat
Overseas experience enhanced for Etisalat staffers
ZIMBABWE: TelOne says end of month for ADSL upgrade

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Renewable energy powered Vodacom mobile broadband at COP17

Renewable energy powered Vodacom mobile broadband at COP17

Vodacom South Africa and Nokia Siemens Networks provided zero-carbon emission mobile broadband at COP17* climate change conference in Durban, November 28 to December 09. Nokia Siemens Networks installed its energy-efficient base station, powered by its complete green energy solution, to help Vodacom meet the surge in the traffic caused by conference visitors.

This base station was running purely on renewable energy without any connection to grid. This implementation was part of a global initiative from the Vodafone Site Solution Innovation Centre (SSIC)**, in which Nokia Siemens Networks is a key partner for mobile infrastructure site solutions.

The installation at COP17 was one of two provided by Nokia Siemens Networks as part of Vodafone’s SSIC. The other has been implemented in Canelands, South Africa.

At the COP17, Nokia Siemens Networks built a green mobile site by deploying its award-winning, energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio Base Station and complete energy solution on a trailer***. It used a combination of solar energy and wind power, supported by fuel cells and a deep cycle battery, to provide seamless broadband connectivity for the event.

At Canelands, Nokia Siemens Networks has reconfigured a legacy site that was previously running permanently on a diesel generator. After completion of the site implementation and change in the operational mode by end of this year, it will start drawing energy from solar foils mounted on the existing tower and from a vertical wind turbine at its top. In addition, an optimized cooling concept for a modernized single radio access network that supports various technologies is already in use. This site solution will ensure both minimum energy requirements and an enormous reduction in diesel consumption while increasing the use of renewable energy sources.

Nokia Siemens Networks’ Green Energy Controller manages all energy sources efficiently at base station sites, helping Vodacom reduce maintenance costs and carbon emissions. The controller is managed by Nokia Siemens Networks’ NetAct network management platform. This platform allows Vodacom to remotely maintain and install new software, removing the need for frequent site visits and therefore further reducing carbon emissions from vehicles.

“It is encouraging to see that our partnership with Nokia Siemens Networks, in line with our SSIC initiative, is helping us implement innovative base station site solutions. These solutions help us save operational costs and achieve our green target by reducing carbon emissions,” said Steve Pusey, Group CTO, Vodafone.

In 2008, the Vodafone Group set a target to cuts its carbon emissions in half by 2020 compared to its fiscal year 2006-07 baseline. In May this year, the group also set an additional target in emerging markets to reduce carbon emissions by 20% per network node by March 2015 compared to fiscal year 2010-11 baseline.

“We are committed to providing superior mobile broadband infrastructure that also improves energy efficiency and reduces carbon emissions,” said Bosco Novak, head of Global Services, Nokia Siemens Networks. “Our participation in Vodafone’s SSIC initiative is in line with our focus on innovation within our mobile broadband business. In addition, our cooperation with Vodafone SSIC provides us opportunities to understand the operator’s needs and further improve the quality of our site solutions.”

Nokia Siemens Networks and Vodafone are working on various projects to reduce diesel consumption and carbon emissions at hundreds of sites around the world by implementing green energy solutions.

Consumer champion (Qatar)

ictQATAR has appointed Dr. Eiman Al Ansari as Consumer Affairs Manager, and is tasked with ensuring that operators protect consumer’s rights. The new Department will also carry out a range of consumer affairs initiatives to help consumers better understand their rights, and will develop telecoms consumer protection policies and programs where necessary. Dr. Al Ansari was previously Head of Corporate and Institutional Affairs at Vodafone-Qatar.

Roaming Milestone (Bahrain)

Batelco has signed its thousandth international roaming deal: its deals cover all telecom services in 148 overseas locations. CEO Rashid Abulla said: "We try to provide more that one choice of provider in key locations as prices for the various roaming services can vary from operator to operator".

Monday, 5 December 2011

Spectrum successfully policed (South Africa)

The ICASA's Pretoria office has seized kit belonging to ArcellorMittal in Pretoria West following what is described as 'illegal use' of the radio frequency spectrum. ICASA initiated an investigation three weeks ago, with an inspection on 24 November 2011, during which it failed to produce licences for the equipment currently being used. It was given 7-days written notice to pay an estimated ZAR 2 million (USD 247,083) in licence fees. Five repeaters and 6 mobile hand-held radios were taken. Other offices will be visited shortly.

CFO resigns (Turkey)

Turkcell Chief Group Finance Officer Serkan Okandan is resigning with effect from 31 December 2011. He joined the operator in 2000, and has been CFO since 2006. The operator said that it is now started the process of candidate evaluation for his replacement.

Smarter phones (Namibia)

MTC has announced that it is launching the iPhone4S in Namibia and to Southern Africa, so beating the 16 December 2011 launch date of its competitors. According to Apple, the iPhone 4S gives improved battery life, a better camera (8 megapixel with 1080p video recording), and 14.4Mbps. HSPA, and the Siri voice control system. MTC’s Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer, Tim Ekandjo said the demand and uptake of the iPhone 4S was ‘phenomenal’. A one-off connection fee of NAD 218 (USD 26), an extra payment of NAD 2999 (USD 362) and a monthly fee of NAD 399 (USD 399) per month for 24 months.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Cable consummated (Oman)

Tata Communications and Nawras have announced the launch of the Oman to India TGN-Gulf cable, which will be used to route voice and data traffic from Oman to Mumbai (India) and onwards via the Tata Global Network (TGN). Using its own cable stations, each party will have access to a new high-speed global route. The landing parties are Nawras (Oman), Etisalat (UAE), Qatar Telecom (Qatar), Bahrain Internet Exchange (Bahrain), and Mobily (Saudi Arabia).
< ...more... >

Monday, 14 November 2011

Francophone fraternity (Guinea Republic)

The 9th Annual Meeting of the Francophone Network of Telecommunications Regulation (FRATEL) was held on 10 - 11 November 2011, involving 80 delegates from 17 countries. FRATEL was founded in 2003 in Bamako. The meeting was opened by the Guinean Minister of Posts, Telecommunications and New Technologies of Information and Communication, Mr. M. Guilavogui Oye. The next annual meeting will be held in Lome, Togo in the last half of 2012.

...read more...

Friday, 11 November 2011

Focus on fraud (Southern Africa)

Telecom Namibia is hosting the Southern Africa Telecommunications Association (SATA) 5th Regional Workshop on ICT Fraud, Revenue Assurance and Network/Cyber Security in Windhoek 14 - 16 November 2011. ICT Minister Joel Kaapanda will officiate, and Telecom Namibia’s Managing Director will address the opening session. SATA has 15 members, namely Telecom Namibia, Angola Telecom, Movicel Angola, Botswana Telecom Corporation, Telecom Lesotho, Econet Ezi-Cel (Lesotho), Malawi Telecommunications Limited, Mauritius Telecom, Telecomunicações de Moçambique, Telkom South Africa, Swaziland Posts & Telecommunications Corporation, Tanzania Telecommunications Company Limited, Zambia Telecommunications, Tel.One Zimbabwe and TeleAccess (Zimbabwe).

Africa Top-up success

Mobile solutions provider Comviva has said that it has 25 percent of the African electronic top-up market for its PreTUPSTM electronic recharge solution, which has been deployed by all major operator groups, and is in use in 22 African countries. It claims 54 deployments spanning 39 countries across leading GSM and CDMA operators with over 600 million subscribers using it globally, accounting for 15 billion recharge transactions annually.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

MTN Rwanda subscribers get Opera on their phones

MTN Rwanda subscribers get Opera on their phones:

Rwandan MTN subscribers will now have access to the Opera Mini browser, which gives them faster and cheaper access to the Web through their mobile devices, as well as quick access to their favorite sites and MTN portals.

MTN subscribers will have one-click access, through Opera Mini, to MTN CallerTunez, MTN Play, The NewTimes, Igihe, Facebook, Yahoo! and Mobile Store.

MTN Rwanda has close to three million subscribers, and its network coverage extends to over 98% of the population. Rwanda has embraced the Internet and is also a key partner in the One Laptop per Child project and has a major e-government program.

While mainstream Internet access is still a way off, 40% of Rwandans have mobile phones, as opposed to less than one percent with fixed-line Internet access. This means the bulk of the country goes online through a mobile device – usually a feature phone. Some of the most visited mobile sites in Rwanda include Facebook, Google, Yahoo!, Igihe, YouTube, Wikipedia, BBC, Inyarwanda, NewTimes and Umuseke.

Khaled Mikkawi, CEO MTN Rwanda described Opera Mini as “a great tool that will further emphasize the dedication of MTN to facilitate the ease and growth of data usage in Rwanda and a strong affirmation of MTN’s commitment to be at the heart of the ICT revolution in Rwanda”.

Opera Mini compresses the Web by up to 90%, providing faster delivery of webpages faster and at a lower cost, to more than 3000 different types of mobile devices on the market.

“We are excited to see MTN Rwanda customers join the Web using Opera Mini,” says Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “Clearly it is a nation that is committed to growing everyone’s access to the Web, and MTN is an integral part of that. Our global agreement with MTN is one that allows us to really deliver on our belief that the Internet is a basic human right.”

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

MTN Nigeria improves network security and efficency by 98% with AdaptiveMobile

MTN Nigeria improves network security and efficency by 98% with AdaptiveMobile

Lagos, Nigeria 9th November 2011 - AdaptiveMobile, the world leader in mobile security has successfully completed a mobile content filtering, anti-spam and anti-virus protection project with MTN Nigeria, enabling the operator to protect its network and subscribers from undesired mobile content through mobile handsets and mobile data-enabled PCs. The AdaptiveMobile Network Protection Platform is reducing network load, protecting the operator’s IP reputation from the growing threat of spam-related IP blacklisting and is reducing customer complaints.

MTN is the largest mobile network in MEA, and with over 40 million subscribers has seen phenomenal growth in mobile Internet services. The collaboration with AdaptiveMobile is protecting subscribers across all its network services to counter current and emerging mobile network threats, as well as combat the small number of subscriber numbers that were being hijacked by criminal groups and used to send email spam over the mobile network. AdaptiveMobile’s Network Protection Platform provides network-based protection across a range of service bearers and is enabling MTN to:

Drastically cut spam
– AdaptiveMobile’s email and unique webmail filtering solution is identifying 96% of email coming through the network as spam and blocking/quarantining as appropriate
Remove MTN’s IP addresses from blacklists
– the reduction in spam levels means MTN is being removed from IP blacklists, enabling legitimate users access to services and improved network speeds
Reduce customer care costs
– the reduction in users unwittingly sending spam across the network and freed-up network capacity is leading to a reduction in call-centre complaints
Block access to illegal sites
– users are protected from unsuitable content whilst MTN is able to build its brand image and meet legislative requirements
Identify the source of viruses
– AdaptiveMobile’s anti-virus technology identifies infected handsets and PCs, enabling MTN to on-sell solutions to subscribers and make cost-savings on bandwidth
“The roll-out of AdaptiveMobile’s Network protection Platform is enabling us to improve customer experience and achieve significant operational cost savings through protecting our network and our subscribers,” says Obinna Nweje, General Manager, MTN Nigeria. “As with many operators globally, the shared nature of mobile IP addresses means that attacks from unscrupulous spammers can have a huge impact on IP address reputation and potentially result in innocent subscribers’ emails being unnecessarily blocked.”

“MTN is highlighting the value of addressing mobile Internet safety,” says Gareth Maclachlan, COO, AdaptiveMobile. “By using our solution, operators can differentiate their services for both consumers and enterprises whilst ensuring a secure environment for their subscribers. Network operators across the world are increasingly accepting a service responsibility to subscribers, whether to protect vulnerable users such as children, or to help corporates fulfil their duty-of-care to employees and it is organisations such as MTN that are forging the way in keeping one step ahead of the criminals.”

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Unintended consequences (Iran)

Once again the US Administration's Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) has caught another vendor; not in the USA but in Iran. Chinese-vendor Huawei Technologies said last week it had sold mobile network equipment to MTN Irancell; it issued a statement after the US-owned Bloomberg and WSJ news channels published references to the monitoring of dissidents by the Iranian government. Previously it was NSN that found itself in the dock, also because of deployments in Iran, and also thanks to the provisions of CALEA.

Monday, 7 November 2011

Taxing issue (AME)

A GSMA study has found 21 states that levy airtime taxes in addition to general sales taxes, including 12 in sub-Saharan Africa, up from six in 2007. Consumers in Turkey continue to pay the most airtime tax at 43 percent, followed by the Gabon at 36 percent, Uganda at 30 percent and Tanzania and the DRC at 28 percent.

Saturday, 5 November 2011

October MNP (Ghana)

The National Communications Authority (NCA) said that at the end of October , four months since the start of Mobile Number Portability (MNP), a total of 138,458 mobile subscribers have used the facility. Some 32,780 porting requests were processed in October of which 5% were completed within 15 minutes, and 48% were completed between 15 minutes and an hour. Only 1% were completed in more than 24 hours.

Friday, 4 November 2011

Senior movement at Vodacom (South Africa)

Vodacom's Tom Boardman has stepped down from the Board, along with Commercial Director Morten Lundal, who has been replaced by Vodafone's Karen Witts. In March 2012, Rob Shuter, CFO of Vodacom Group is to be seconded to Vodafone Netherlands.

Mobile satisfaction (Oman)

A Nielsen Company survey of mobile users in Oman found that Nawras recorded customer satisfaction levels of 92 percent in September 2011, up from 87 percent in December 2010.

USF-funded Wi-Fi (Mauritius)

The Information and Communication Technologies Authority is to fund from the Universal Service Fund (USF) the setting up of ten Wi-Fi zones in five municipal councils and four district councils in Mauritius and an administrative building in Rodrigues, to offer free public Internet Access. Bidders will be existing ISPs, and bids are required by the afternoon of 30 November 2011.

Telco audit (Mauritania)

The Autorité de Régulation has called for expressions of interest for the financial auditing of the licensed mobile operators for the years 2011, 2012 and 2013, namely Mauritel; Mattel and Chinguitel. Bidders are required to provide a ‘reasoned opinion’ on the operator’s accounts for each year, and bids need to be submitted by noon 1 December 2011. Full details are available at http://www.are.mr/details-1-14-214.html.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

mcel upgrades mobile broadband network with Ericsson

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) has been chosen as preferred supplier by leading Mozambican operator mcel to upgrade and expand its existing 3G radio network in Maputo, Mozambique's capital city, using the latest Ericsson technology. This includes the RBS 6000, which earlier this year was used in setting the record for the fastest internet in the world.

This contract builds on Ericsson's longstanding relationship with mcel and comes on the heels of a recently completed upgrade of mcel's 3G core network by Ericsson. The network upgrade will enable mcel to provide high-speed mobile broadband which can deliver video and web application services, thereby offering their subscribers a superior user experience.

Under the agreement, Ericsson will deploy its industry leading core network solutions as well as its multi-standard base station RBS 6000, supporting GSM/EDGE, 3G (WCDMA/HSPA) and 4G (LTE). The core network solutions include Ericsson's Mobile Softswitch Solution and Ericsson SmartEdge-based Mobile Packet Backbone Network (MPBN) solution which efficiently handle the take off of voice and data.

mcel, the premier operator in Mozambique, started operations in 1997 and now has more than 4.3 million customers and the most extensive network in the country - covering 65% of the geographical area, and 75% of the population.

Published reports show that mobile penetration in Mozambique is mostly in cities, and currently sits at around 35%, while internet penetration is less than 5% with 0.1% having access to broadband1. However there is growing demand for high-speed broadband beyond urban areas.

mcel recently signed a memorandum of understanding with Mozambique's Science and Technology Ministry, to roll out community multimedia centers in rural areas. Based on this understanding, mcel will provide internet access to six Mozambican districts.

mcel CEO Mamudo Ibraimo says: "As Mozambique's premier operator, we view our services as an enabler of socioeconomic development and long-term prosperity. We continue to drive the growth and evolution of mobile telephony here through continued expansion, value-oriented innovation and a focus on the delivery of an excellent customer experience.

"Our partnership with Ericsson positions us well to secure our premier position and continued growth in this market," he concluded.

Lars Lindén, Head of Ericsson Sub-Saharan Africa, says: "mcel's new network will cater to the exceptional traffic growth they expect in the near future. With improved network signalling and transmission capacity from Ericsson, we are committed to ensuring the quality of service mcel delivers to its subscribers."

Monday, 24 October 2011

Telecoms World Middle East Awards: Nokia Siemens Networks named “Best Vendor"

Telecoms World Middle East Awards: Nokia Siemens Networks named “Best Vendor”

Nokia Siemens Networks was named “Best Vendor” at the Telecoms World Middle East Awards, on October 5, 2011 at the Jumeirah Emirates Towers in Dubai, UAE. The awards are designed to identify and reward companies that have positively contributed to the development of telecoms in the Middle East.

“We are honored to receive this award and pleased that our efforts have been appreciated by the industry,” said Igor Leprince, head of the Middle East region at Nokia Siemens Networks. “The award is testament to Nokia Siemens Networks’ commitment to the Middle East market, with an expanding network of customers across the region. We provide our customers with optimum network efficiency while helping them create individual user experiences that lead to stronger, longer lasting and more profitable customer relationships.”

Nokia Siemens Networks was named the winner by an independent jury, with the key criterion being that the recipient have “an outstanding portfolio of innovative products, which has positively impacted the telecoms market in the region.” Other considerations included the quality of service delivered, strong business acumen and future scope for development.

With more than 50 active customers in the region, Nokia Siemens Networks is a leading telecoms vendor across the Middle East with a particular strength in mobile broadband and LTE. Eight operators in the Middle East use Nokia Siemens Networks’ charging and prepaid solution based on charge@once, serving more than 50 million subscribers, and seventy-five per cent of all mobile operators in the region use the company’s NetAct OSS solutions to optimize their networks. Nokia Siemens Networks is also the first vendor to sign a commercial LTE deal in the Middle East region.

Smart co-operative (Bahrain)

Batelco has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Korea Telecom to explore projects targeting Smart Cities services in Bahrain. Both will exploring services such as smart economy; smart mobility; smart environment; smart living; and smart governance utilising the latest set of Information and Telecommunications technologies. Batelco Chief Executive Bahrain Rashid Abdulla and Korea Telecom Executive Vice President & Head of Global Enterprise Sales Department Sang Wook Kim signed the deal.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Ixia Validates New State-of-the-Art Wi-Fi Network at Dubai World Trade Center

CALABASAS, CA, (October 18, 2011)– Ixia (NASDAQ: XXIA), the leading global provider of converged IP and wireless network test solutions, today announced that it has completed a thorough evaluation of the new 802.11n Wi-Fi network for Dubai World Trade Center (DWTC), a facility that encompasses over 1 million square feet and services over 1.4 million people per year. This advanced network architecture, a testament to the growing importance of Wi-Fi as an access technology and for cellular traffic offload, will increase connectivity coverage and capacity for the hospitality, convention and real estate customers on the DWTC site. Ixia’s end-to-end test solution validates capacity and quality of service as well as network access, and was the only solution capable of providing a complete picture of the network for the facility.

MTN Nigeria rolls out Opera Mini

With the signing of an agreement between MTN and Opera Software, over 40 million subscribers can now expect to see faster, easier and more cost-effective mobile web surfing on their handsets.

MTN customers will also enjoy a faster and more affordable web experience through one-click access to MTN’s Play entertainment portal, as well as easier access to any other website.

Already, more than 130 million people around the world have discovered how Opera Mini can help revolutionize their mobile web experience. Not only does Opera Mini deliver the Web faster to almost any phone, it also cuts data costs by compressing webpage data before pages are delivered, while retaining all the functionality of a normal webpage.

“MTN as a whole has seen the value of Opera Mini and we are introducing it in all the 21 countries we operate in,” said Bola Akingbade, Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Nigeria. “We believe that communication and participation empowers people. By working with Opera, we deliver greater value to our customers, with a faster browsing experience, lowering the barriers to spending time online.”

Opera Mini works on more than 3,000 different mobile phone models, from basic feature phones to high-end smart phones.

It shares many features with Opera’s browsers for desktop, including tabbed browsing, password manager and speed dial.

“Our goal has always been to offer the full Web to our users — no matter the device. Over the past few years, we have observed the explosion of mobile web usage across Africa. MTN has been leading the way, with its strong customer focus and innovative solutions,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO of Opera Software. “The further growth of the mobile Web depends on our joint ability to understand and enhance the user experience. We look forward to working closely with MTN Nigeria to ensure a large and happy user base.”

Existing Opera Mini users on the MTN network in Nigeria will be automatically updated to the new version when next they run Opera Mini. New users can also download it from the customized MTN Opera Mini link, m.opera.com, using their default mobile browser.

Telecom Italia Sparkle Global IP Backbone “Seabone” climbs five positions to #8 worldwide in Renesys Global Customer Base Backbone ranking

“Seabone”, TI Sparkle’s Tier 1 Global IP Transit Backbone, reached position #8 worldwide today in Renesys Global Customer Base Backbone ranking. Positioned #13 last January, Seabone has been steadily climbing the internet research firm’s table over the last months, bypassing operators historically recognized as global leaders in the IP Transit segment. 

This success results from the customers’ consistent acknowledgment of TI Sparkle’s IP Transit Seabone service reliability and performance. The backbone has grown to become a global brand with very high recognition worldwide, contributing to position TI Sparkle as a reliable business partner as witnessed by the latest acquisition of key customers in Eastern Europe, especially in Russia where TI Sparkle now serves most of the major operators and ISPs.  At the same time TI Sparkle has recently strengthened the IP Transit relationship with a leading global operator with strong presence in Asia Pacific. 


“The investments we have carried out last year that aimed at consolidating the core backbone in Europe and the US and at providing a bullet-proof service, together with the footprint expansion in Africa and Asia, have paid off”, states Paolo Ferrari, TI Sparkle Chief Executive Officer. “We will continue along this path adding new IP points of presence in particular in the fast growing markets of Africa and South East Asia”, continues Ferrari.


Today, TI Sparkle 2-Terabyte Global IP Backbone Seabone is 100% Transit Free and fully IPv6 enabled; it ranks #3 in Europe and is the leading IP Service provider for Africa, with a consolidated customer base in the Middle East and in South America. 

MTC Makes Changes to Its Aweh and Free Hour Services

WINDHOEK, 19 OCTOBER 2011- Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), Namibia’s leading mobile operator announces changes to its AWEH and Free Hour (FH) Class of Services (COS) for pre-paid customers with immediate effect.


“The changes to both products have been introduced to allow for a period to address important aspects of the MTC network that will ultimately result in an improved service to all 081 customers” said Tim Ekandjo, Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer.


In May 2010 MTC introduced Aweh-Aweh, a product that addresses the communication needs of the 081 Nation. The uptake on Aweh Aweh has been tremendous by the public in both urban and rural areas and remains the most affordable way of mobile communication in the country.


Aweh-Aweh subsequently expanded its portfolio to include Aweh-Lite and with the introduction of the Blackberry services at MTC, the BB7 Aweh COS was added under the Aweh sub-brand.
Changes to the Aweh products will affect all three COS in that all three products will be limited to 50 minutes of free calls weekdays and on weekends.


Subscribers to the Free Hour (FH), Special Free Hour (SFH) or Free Hour Student (FHS) COS will now be limited to 30 minutes during the specific hour.


“Both the Aweh and FH services are here to stay. They have been some of the company’s best performing products and we do recognize the affordability these products provide for several communities countrywide. We want assure all our customers that changes to products or services at MTC are always aimed at meeting customer demands or improving our service delivery” concluded Ekandjo.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

VIVA Selects AdaptiveMobile to Ensure User Base Receive the Very Latest Privacy Protection

VIVA Selects AdaptiveMobile to Ensure User Base Receive the Very Latest Privacy Protection

Kuwait, 18th October, 2011
- AdaptiveMobile, the world leader in mobile security is today announcing that VIVA, Kuwait’s most advanced mobile operator has implemented AdaptiveMobile’s Network Protection Platform which includes a call screening solution across its network of subscribers. The technology protects subscribers’ privacy by screening and controlling voice and video calls, SMS and MMS messages according to user preferences.

VIVA is the newest, most advanced mobile telecommunications service provider in Kuwait. The operator is quickly becoming a key player in the market working with 420 operators in 176 countries. VIVA is the latest mobile operator to select AdaptiveMobile’s Network Protection Platform as its solution of choice.

VIVA is committed to enriching the lives of its subscriber base. To ensure customer satisfaction levels remained high, VIVA wanted to offer customers the very latest mobile security functionality. This includes protecting users from the increasing number and sophistication of threats that mobiles and handheld devices are exposed to.

By deploying AdaptiveMobile’s Network Protection Platform VIVA has been able to offer a high-level of protection quickly and efficiently. The Call Screening software, which sits directly on the network, uses advanced screening technology to block offensive words and images from incoming messages before they get to the user. The service also restricts and diverts calls in pre arranged restricted time periods such as business or school hours ensuring productivity levels remain high – at a critical time for the country.

“The safety of an individuals’ privacy has increasingly become a cause for concern for many of our subscribers, and we wanted to reassure them that we value their privacy and their protection across our network was a key priority. We feel that it is critical that our subscribers are able to make the most of the benefits that the future of communication holds, but allowing them to feel secure whilst doing so is key,” says Salman Al-Badran, CEO, VIVA.

“The Call Screening solution ensures the necessary measures are in place to allow us to block unwanted calls and messages to users’ handsets. We chose AdaptiveMobile’s solution as it had proven experience in protecting subscribers, and the software could be deployed quickly and effectively. We want our customer’s lives to be enriched through communication, entertainment and transfer of information and AdaptiveMobile is helping make this possible,” concluded Al-Badran.

VIVA is the first operator in Kuwait to implement such a solution to provide protection for the three bearers of communication (SMS, MMS and Voice) across one single platform.

“Personal privacy has become more of a concern for mobile users’ and it is important that subscribers feel that their mobile operator sees this as a critical factor. VIVA picked us due to our heritage and expertise in the Middle East market and our ability to provide operators with service that meet their local needs. We are delighted to be helping VIVA provide its customer base with the very latest mobile security protection,” says Brian Collins, CEO, AdaptiveMobile.

Vodafone Webbook launched in South Africa with Ubuntu software

JOHANNESBURG, 18 0ctober 2011 - Vodacom today announced that it is the first Vodafone operating company to launch the Vodafone Webbook, which is expected to bring simplified, value-added internet access to thousands of South Africans, many of whom have until now had no access, or have depended on cellphones for internet connectivity.

The device is extremely compact and lightweight, weighing less than 1 kg. The Vodafone Webbook is presented with a 10" LCD screen, 512MB of memory and an additional 4GB of storage space.

"The Vodafone Webbook is going to offer the end user a compelling, mobile or at-home computing experience at an affordable price. We think this device is going to be particularly important and attractive for the emerging market," says Chris Ross, Managing Executive: Commercial Development at Vodacom.

With the Vodafone Webbook, Vodacom customers will be able to enjoy a portable internet experience with the Ubuntu operating system with various software applications, 24 months warranty and free software updates.

Ubuntu is a Linux-based operating system that is a free, fast, easy-to-use, and open source computer programme that was pioneered by Mark Shuttleworth.
Speaking about the Ubuntu software, Mark Shuttleworth said: "We are delighted to provide the operating system for the Vodafone Webbook. Ubuntu's founding principle is to remove the barriers of access to computing for everyone, and products like this give hope of connectivity to people all over the world."

MTC Holds Supplier Workshop In Windhoek

WINDHOEK, 18 OCTOBER 2011 - Mobile Telecommunications Limited (MTC), Namibia’s leading mobile operator is holding a Suppliers Workshop on Friday, 21 October at the Polytechnic Hotel School for current and prospective suppliers of goods and services that the company procures on an ongoing basis.

MTC Chief Human Capital and Corporate Affairs Officer Tim Ekandjo said the workshop is an annual event which is aimed at educating MTC suppliers on the company’s procurement processes

“We have realized that a lot of suppliers would like to participate in our procurement process but have no clue where to start and those who are already involved in the process do not know how to satisfy MTC’s needs and requirements,” Ekandjo said. He added the one-day workshop will also help to clarify any misunderstandings and miscommunication issues that may exist between MTC and the suppliers, thus making the whole process more open and transparent.

According to Ekandjo, the expected outcomes are mainly about how the suppliers are expected to align to MTC’s procurement needs and requirements. “We also listen to our suppliers and make justifiable changes to the process if needed. The workshop also serves as a networking opportunity for the suppliers,” Ekandjo emphasized.

Ekandjo said MTC is committed to working with Namibian suppliers for all its operational business requirements. The company uses an open or invited tender process to contract both small and large suppliers for its vast operational necessities. “MTC is dedicated to supporting the local industry for all goods and services; however, our suppliers must conform to our internal quality standards and commercial requirements. We are sensitive to the local supply chain and we are committed to working closely with local suppliers,” Ekandjo said.

MTC has three supplier categories, namely general suppliers for products and services, unique sole suppliers and specialised suppliers. The general supply of products that are not industry specific, such as stationary, groceries and promotional items, are supplied to MTC by suppliers, of which 85% is fully Namibian.

Specialised suppliers of services related to more complex technical operations are required mostly in the Base Station Tower (BTS) area of Infrastructure and BTS Maintenance. Namibian suppliers to MTC in this category currently stands at 98%.

The specialised supplier of products for the industry, such as the supply of 3G devices and handset generators, is supplied by a total of 49% Namibian suppliers, while general supply of services that are not industry specific, such as cleaning services, security services and the supply of accommodation, stands at a 99.6% Namibian supplier status.

A unique sole supplier is defined as a supplier providing a unique solution, mainly technological and IT. Thirty-eight percent of unique sole suppliers to MTC are Namibian. These category suppliers are long-term contracts, which will only be changed should the supplier or MTC default on the contract.

MTC currently makes use of the NPPC accreditation certificate to determine the BEE status of Namibian companies.

Bharti Airtel Africa enhances mobile internet browsing experience and multi-media messaging services

Bharti Airtel Africa enhances mobile internet browsing experience and multi-media messaging services

Customers of Bharti Airtel in Africa will soon enjoy seamless internet connectivity and simpler, more intuitive mobile data services. The operator has selected Nokia Siemens Networks’ Serve atOnce Device Management (SADM) software to be implemented across affiliates in 16 African countries. In addition, Nokia Siemens Networks will consolidate the operator’s existing multimedia messaging service (MMS) platforms into one centrally managed virtual platform.

Manoj Kohli, CEO (International) and joint managing director, Bharti Airtel, said: “Nokia Siemens Networks’ robust mobile device management solution will allow our customers in Africa to enjoy the latest services by enabling seamless internet connectivity and excellent customer care support. The solution will benefit Airtel from reduced operational costs when introducing new devices or services.”

Rajeev Suri, chief executive officer of Nokia Siemens Networks, said: “The shift towards smart networks that understand user preferences and enable delivery of customized services is helping operators such as Bharti Airtel deliver a superior mobile broadband experience. Nokia Siemens Networks supports this transition by helping operators to manage user experience better and deliver improved services seamlessly.”

Nokia Siemens Networks’ SADM* will enable Bharti Airtel to remotely and automatically manage and configure user devices for new data services. The software will also enable the operator to gain valuable insights on device capabilities to make right business decisions when introducing new services.

In addition, under a three-year contract, Nokia Siemens Networks will provide its mobile internet browsing solution (MIBS) and multimedia messaging solution, hosted on a virtualized and centrally managed VaaS platform**. This will allow Bharti Airtel to provide these services faster and cost efficiently to all its customers across all affiliates in Africa.

Monday, 17 October 2011

The Qtel Group Builds Global Mobile Money Network

The Qtel Group has made a number of important strides in its Mobile Money strategy in recent weeks, with the launch of the Qtel Mobile Money service, a safe, fast, and easy-to-use “mobile wallet” (mWallet) solution.

Following the launch, customers in Qatar can transfer money in Qatar and to overseas destinations through the mWallet, using the safe, convenient, fast and easy-to-use Qtel service.

The Qtel Mobile Money service opens up a huge range of possibilities for customers and is as easy to use as a mobile phone. Following the launch in Qatar, the Qtel Group will roll out integrated mobile money services across the other key markets it serves.
 
Dr. Nassar Marafih, CEO, The Qtel Group, commented: “The Qtel Group has made the launch of mobile money services across our operations a strategic priority, recognising the strong demand from our customers, and the important social benefits this service will provide. Mobile Money services provide access and security for a whole cross-section of the community that is under-served by traditional banking, and we aim to be a leader in the countries we serve.”  With mWallet, the Qtel Group’s customers will be able to use their mobile phone accounts to save and send money, top up their credit, make payments and transfer airtime to friends, relatives, employees and partners.
 
The integrated solution provided by Sybase 365, EastNets and BICS will be easier, more cost-effective and more convenient than traditional remittance channels.

The Qtel Group’s operations cover regions with a high number of residents and foreign workers, who regularly transfer a proportion of their salaries overseas to their home countries.  A large proportion of these workers do not have access to traditional banking facilities and are “under-banked,” relying on the services of money transfer kiosks to transport money home.

“As well as providing the Qtel Group with an important new revenue source, the provision of Mobile Money services will also have a demonstrable social impact. Customers will have greater security in sending money to friends and family overseas, as well as greater control over their spending at home,” concluded Dr. Nasser.

Vodafone Turkey today released a co-branded version of the Opera Mini mobile browser

Vodafone Turkey today released a co-branded version of the Opera Mini mobile browser to add a little spice to the mobile web experience for its subscribers. This partnership has its roots in the midsummer of 2011 when Vodafone Group Services and Opera Software signed an extended global frame agreement.

More than 16.8 million Vodafone customers in Turkey will now get instant access to their favorite websites, as well as Vodafone’s popular services. Sport results, social networking, an information portal and a content store are now just one click away from the Speed Dial panel in Opera Mini. The browser is completely free and available for every Vodafone Turkey user at m.opera.com.

Opera Mini is the world’s most popular mobile browser, thanks to the unique technology that compresses web data by up to 90%. That’s why web surfing is so much faster with Opera Mini, especially on EDGE or 3G and even on crowded Wi-Fi, no matter which phone model is used. Opera Mini also helps to download more webpages per megabyte; this is extremely important when you are on pay-per-data service or when data roaming is active.

“Opera Mini has already won the hearts of almost 130 million users worldwide,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “We aim to make web surfing even easier for Vodafone’s subscribers in Turkey, enabling them to leap on their favorite web resources in a snap.”

According to Vodafone Turkey, the move formed part of the company’s unwavering focus on bringing the latest telecommunication technologies and most innovative services to customers: “We aim to ensure that everyone in Turkey can enjoy the mobile Internet as part of the Super Internet strategy that we launched at the beginning of 2011. We are delighted to offer this new version of Opera Mini to our customers, making it even easier and more enjoyable for them to surf the Mobile Internet”.

Party time (Burkina Faso)

The Regulatory Authority for Electronic Communications and Posts (ARCEP) is hosting the 26 - 28 October 2011 African Conference on the Economics of Regulation and Telecommunications (CARET). ARCEP is expecting two hundred participants, and aims to bring together all African and international stakeholders interested in regulation and development of electronic communication networks on the continent. The opening ceremony will be held on Wednesday 26 October 2011 under the chairmanship of Prime Minister.

More mobile fixed (Bahrain)

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) has announced the launch of Fixed Number Portability Service from 4 October 2011. Details of the service can be found on TRA’s website for number portability: www.ilovemynumber.bh. Mobile Number Portability (MNP) was launched on 17 July 2011, the TRA saying that the delay was in part attributed to the political unrest earlier in the year. It then planned to launch fixed portability in September.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

Brightstar Continues Expansion into Africa through Multi-Service Agreement with MTN South Africa | Press Releases | News Room | Brightstar

Brightstar Continues Expansion into Africa through Multi-Service Agreement with MTN South Africa

MIAMI and Johannesburg – October 13, 2011 – Brightstar Corp., a global leader in services and solutions for the wireless industry, today announced a multi-year service agreement with MTN South Africa (SA). The deal builds upon Brightstar’s recent expansion of operations and services in the region.

Brightstar will provide MTN SA with device portfolio management services, supply chain services and OEM engagement services that will encompass the operator’s full portfolio of handsets, data devices, laptops and tablets. These services will enable MTN to continue its focus on improving efficiencies in the supply chain, enhancing the OEM engagements and ultimately delivering a superior customer experience.

“We are delighted to offer MTN the world class innovative solutions needed to execute its business strategy in South Africa,” said Jeff Gower, head of supply chain services for Brightstar. “This agreement is evidence of our commitment to expanding our reach into this region and becoming a truly global services provider within the wireless industry.”

“Brightstar’s deep understanding of the industry and its global market intelligence complements that of MTN SA and enhances the company’s capacity to administer device management, allowing us to focus on better servicing our customers,” said Brian Gouldie, Sales and Distribution Executive at MTN SA. “Brightstar’s proven innovative suite of services will enable our customers to have the products they want, when they want them. It’s all about accessibility and convenience – a prerequisite for today’s customers.”

Brightstar offers an expansive portfolio of more than 100 services for wireless manufacturers, operators, retailers, government agencies, value added resellers (VARs) and consumers worldwide.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

Zain Sudan Chooses Jinny Software for Next-Generation VAS Solutions

Zain Sudan Chooses Jinny Software for Next-Generation VAS Solutions

DUBLIN, October 10, 2011- Jinny Software, a leading global supplier of messaging, call completion and mobile advertising solutions to wireless carriers, today announces a deal to supply Zain Sudan with an expanded suite of VAS solutions. The deal includes upgrades for Zain’s MMSC, ringback tone server, SMSC, message router, SMSC accelerator and WAP Gateway, along with solution management tools.
Zain Sudan (formerly Mobitel) is the pioneer of GSM services in Sudan, being the first to offer mobile operations back in February 1997. Today it serves the largest base of mobile customers in the country with more than 10 million active customers.
“Our relationship with Jinny is very positive. The Jinny solutions we use have delivered a strong return on investment, helped by the excellent support services they provide,” says Magdi Taha, IT Director of Zain Sudan.
The modular approach of Jinny Software solutions was a strong factor in Zain Sudan’s choice of provider. Because the software resides on a standard platform, increasing capacity and adding new applications is simple and fast. Also, Jinny Software is equipped to make the transition into IP networks, as Zain Sudan will be doing with its ringback tone service.
“We are pleased to support Zain Sudan as they build on their success in marketing innovative new services for their customers,” says Richard Choi, Jinny Chief Commercial Officer. “This deal underscores our commitment to mobile network operators in emerging markets.”

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

animal-2-machine deployment by MTC (Namibia)

Biosphere Expeditions is working with MTC on a leopard research project near Windhoek, with the aim of gathering reliable scientific data on the ecology of cat predators living on private game farms in Namibia.

"This is because we want to gain a better understanding of how leopards, as predators, form an important part of a healthy ecosystem even, on a game farm", says Kristina Killian, the project’s biologist, adding that "in the end we also want to provide straight-forward information to farmers in Namibia and southern Africa to help alleviate predator/game conflicts".

Three leopards have been captured and fitted with a GSM collar with an MTC SIM card, the collar then using the mobile network to send data to a laptop whenever the leopard picks up a signal from a base station. The data is being described as ‘amazingly precise information’ about the leopards’ movements and what they are up to within their home ranges on game farms.

Monday, 10 October 2011

RIM Unveils BlackBerry Tag - Coming Soon to BlackBerry Smartphones

Dubai, UAE – GITEX - During his keynote presentation at the GITEX conference in Dubai, Research In Motion (NASDAQ: RIMM; TSX: RIM) Co-CEO Jim Balsillie today unveiled a new way for BlackBerry® smartphone users to connect with one another and share multimedia content.

BlackBerry® Tag, which will be incorporated in the next BlackBerry® 7 OS update*, will allow users to share contact information, documents, URLs, photos and other multimedia content by simply tapping their BlackBerry smartphones together. BlackBerry Tag will also enable friends to instantly add one another as contacts on BBM™ (BlackBerry® Messenger).

"BlackBerry Tag is an exciting and innovative feature that makes sharing contact information and multimedia content effortless and seamless,” said Jim Balsillie, Co-CEO at Research In Motion. “BlackBerry Tag opens a new dimension to the BlackBerry platform that is powerful, simple and intuitive and we think it will be welcomed by both users and developers.”

BlackBerry Tag takes advantage of Near Field Communications (NFC) technology included in the recently launched BlackBerry® Bold™ 9900/9930 and BlackBerry® Curve™ 9350/9360/9370 smartphones, and these are the first BlackBerry smartphones that will support BlackBerry Tag.

RIM also announced plans to expose BlackBerry Tag through APIs on the BlackBerry platform, allowing software developers to take advantage of "tap to share" functionality from within their own applications.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

EION Wireless Launches 4G Mobility Platform at GITEX Technology Week in Dubai

EION Wireless Launches 4G Mobility Platform at GITEX Technology Week in Dubai

DUBAI UAE – October 9, 2011 – EION Inc., a Canadian manufacturer of broadband wireless products today announced the launch of its Star4G Mobile Broadband Platform for 4G service providers. The Star4G platform includes base stations, a Wireless Services Gateway (WSG), and mobile end-user devices that create mobile 4G networks.

EION’s 4G solution, Star4G, is targeted to mobile operators in developing countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East that need to augment their mobile cellular services with fixed, nomadic and mobile broadband services.

A key demographic for the Star4G platform is large service providers that are starting to plan and build out networks targeting residential and business users with data, voice over IP and video-on-demand services. The introduction of the 4G mobile solution complements the company’s current product portfolio and provides the opportunity to address the needs carrier-class service providers and large enterprises.

“Unlike other LTE platforms on the market that are designed around a cellular voice-centric architecture, Star4G is designed with a data-centric focus for the delivery of voice video and data services,” said Dr. Anand Srinivasan, Vice President of Technology and Product Management. “This Star4G architecture delivers a high Quality of Experience (QoE) for high definition multimedia mobile services.”

“EION is involved in commercial launches, pilots and trials of its mobile 4G solution in diverse parts of the world,” said Guido Curridor, Senior Vice President of Technology and Business Operations “This large installed base of customers represents an opportunity for EION to upgrade these networks to its Star4G solution giving EION a leadership position in data-centric LTE networks.”

Friday, 7 October 2011

Clarity extends Mobinil Infrastructure Management Solution

Sydney, Australia; 6 October 2011 – Clarity, the award winning provider of unified telecommunications solutions designed to simplify operations, today announced that Mobinil, Egypt’s leading mobile operator, is upgrading and extending its deployment of Clarity’s Infrastructure Management solution.
Mobinil currently uses Clarity’s solution to support its network site rollout processes across two departments. The upgrade will see the latest version of Clarity’s Infrastructure Management suite replace many disparate third-party systems and enable end-to-end tracking of infrastructure changes across all of Mobinil’s divisions.
The Clarity solution provides improved planning, purchasing and workforce deployment, providing Mobinil with greater control over resource allocation and analysis. Mobinil will be able to reduce both the costs and timescales for network rollouts, upgrades and decommissions across its network. Importantly, Clarity’s Infrastructure Management solution will increase return on asset investment by reducing the time between initial infrastructure investment and first revenue generation. The solution will integrate with other OSS components using standards-based interfaces – providing Mobinil with the necessary data and automated processes framework to efficiently manage all the activities associated with complex, multiple site construction.
Moustafa Hegazi (Director, network planning & rollout) Mobinil, commented “The Clarity solution will streamline network change programs, helping us meet timescales and budgets. It will ensure that we have consistent communication across our business. Rather than having to work with many different systems across multiple departments, all divisions will soon be able to hand over tasks seamlessly. The system ensures the correct data is captured, so employees always have the information readily available to accurately complete their tasks. The statistics and forecast information from the system also means that managers have business intelligence data available so they can continue to drive improved performance well into the future.”
“Effectively managing the substantial investment made in network upgrades and changes is a logistical challenge for most service providers,” added Tony Garcia at Clarity. “Investing in tools that guide and manage the deployment of these assets has a direct impact on the bottom line - the sooner an asset is operational, the sooner revenue is generated. Our comprehensive Infrastructure Management solution provides just that; ensuring consistency in the information and processes used throughout all divisions, suppliers and contractors so that assets are deployed faster.”

Thursday, 6 October 2011

Vodacom Tanzania offers flexible bill payment options to its customers

Vodacom Tanzania offers flexible bill payment options to its customers

Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania – October 06, 2011

Partners with Nokia Siemens Networks to introduce the first convergent charging and billing platform in Africa

Nokia Siemens Networks has migrated the existing charging and billing system of Vodacom Tanzania to its own charge@once unified* platform. As a result of a long-term, trusted partnership, Vodacom Tanzania has commissioned Nokia Siemens Networks for this project. With the charge@once unified platform, Vodacom Tanzania’s customers can now flexibly choose either prepaid, post paid or a combination of both payment options for their voice, data and SMS services. The platform also offers a wide set of pre-defined modules that can be used to create marketing campaigns with minimal efforts and more flexibility in a shorter turnaround time.

“We wanted our customers to be the first to enjoy flexibility in bill payments, and we have become the first one to implement this flexibility in Africa,” said Dietlof Mare, managing director of Vodacom Tanzania. “Nokia Siemens Networks’ exceptional delivery capabilities ensured fast rollout of flexible payment methods for all services used by our individual and enterprise customers. The new platform also significantly reduced the efforts required for the implementation of these flexible payment options.”

“With a customer base of over ten million subscribers, we are always committed to bringing world-class solutions to our customers in the Tanzanian market,” added Dietlof.

“Implementing Nokia Siemens Networks’ unified charging and billing platform is an example of Vodacom’s commitment to introduce the latest technology in the market, offering a wide range of services with flexible payment methods,” said Deon Geyser, customer team head at Nokia Siemens Networks. “The platform provides flexible bill payment options for both fixed and mobile network services for all customers.”

With migration to Nokia Siemens Networks’ charge@once unified platform, the customers of Vodacom Tanzania can now choose postpaid method for using services for business purposes, and prepaid option for private voice calls or SMS. In addition, the platform enables family contracts, where parents can opt for postpaid payment for their voice services and use their phones to recharge their children’s prepaid subscriptions.

Nokia Siemens Networks’ charging and billing platform has a variety of features including self administration, which allows customers to set bill limits and receive alerts on exceeding it. It also allows them various options for recharging their prepaid accounts. With this platform, the operator can also offer special SMS plans as well as customized tariff schemes to its subscribers for internet use.

Friday, 30 September 2011

Intel acquires Telmap

Intel acquires Telmap: "As part of the keynote, we announced that we have signed an agreement to acquire Telmap, a leading company in navigation and location-based services, search and content. Telmap will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Intel. This move is a step towards expanding our mobile software services capabilities as Intel continues to grow in the area of software and services. We are all very excited to have such knowledgeable and respected experts join the company.
"

Safaricom and Opera Software announce extended Kenyan partnership

Safaricom and Opera Software announce extended Kenyan partnership

Safaricom’s over 17 million customers to benefit from fast mobile browser, Johannesburg, South Africa — September 29, 2011

Kenya’s largest integrated telecoms operator Safaricom, today announced the extension of its existing partnership with Opera Software to deliver the Opera Mini browser solution to its more than 17 million subscribers. This includes the launch of a co-branded version of the Opera Mini mobile browser, which is now available for download across Safaricom’s network in Kenya. This is part of a global agreement between Vodafone and Opera Software.

The deal delivers faster access to websites and easy entry to Safaricom portals. Safaricom subscribers can reach the content they want, with less frustration and expense. With just one click, customers have music, news, games, and information on Safaricom’s products and services at their fingertips.

Kenya has 22 million mobile phone users, which is around 55% of the total population. Safaricom, which is 40% owned by Vodafone, is the only network in Kenya that provides broadband high-speed data to its customers through its 3G network, Wimax and fibre. Kenya is also the third largest market in Africa for Opera Mini.

According to Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, the partnership with Opera Software would significantly improve the internet experience of the firm’s growing base of data customers.

“With the launch of the Opera Mini browser, we are leveraging a key partnership to bring our data customers to a new, higher level of experience. This is aligned with our strategy of not just making the internet a mass product in Kenya, but also making it more efficient,” said Collymore.

At least nine out of every ten of the 8 million Kenyans who use the internet regularly do so through the Safaricom network.

Already, 121 million people all over the world have discovered how Opera Mini can revolutionize their mobile web experience. Not only does Opera Mini deliver the Web faster to almost any phone, it also cuts data costs by shrinking the pages down before they are delivered, while retaining all the functionality of a normal webpage.

“Africa is a booming market for us, and this deal with Safaricom will bring the best Internet experience possible to millions of people eager for mobile web access,” said Lars Boilesen, CEO, Opera Software. “Opera believes that Internet access is a universal right, and being part of bringing that to Kenya is key for us. Opera Software has always striven to develop the fastest and technologically most advanced browsers. As a result, the Opera browser is the choice for the majority of mobile web users.”

Research shows that mobile data use in Kenya is predominantly used for social networking, news and job seeking. A key reason for the success of Opera in Africa is its speed: loading Facebook just once on a handheld device will use up more than 200 KB worth of data. With a browser like Opera Mini, which shrinks data down to a fraction of its original size, users can view Facebook 8.5 times using that same 200 KB. At the same time, when the powerful compression technology in the full browser is applied to the Opera Mini browser, the Web is accessible on even the simplest handsets, including those with small screens and limited memory.

Thursday, 29 September 2011

Airtel signs agreement with Nokia Siemens Networks for 2G expansion, 3G deployment and managed services in Africa | Nokia Siemens Networks

Airtel signs agreement with Nokia Siemens Networks for 2G expansion, 3G deployment and managed services in Africa

Bharti Airtel (‘Airtel’), a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa, announced today it has entered into an agreement with Nokia Siemens Networks to expand its 2G (GSM/EDGE) networks and deploy 3G networks in seven African countries. Under the agreement, Nokia Siemens Networks will manage end-to-end network operations, including planning, designing and implementing the 2G and 3G networks for Airtel. The vendor will provide its energy-efficient Flexi Multiradio Base Stations* to expand network coverage to under-served areas, including smaller towns and villages in the seven countries**.

Manoj Kohli, CEO, (International) and joint managing director, Bharti Airtel, said: “This agreement manifests our commitment to provide world-class, innovative and affordable mobile services to customers in Africa. We believe Nokia Siemens Networks’ global expertise in managed services and compact energy-efficient network equipment are a perfect fit to our long-term goal to be the leading telecommunications provider in the African continent. This partnership will further enable us to rapidly expand our network coverage and provide high-speed wireless internet connectivity to our customers.”

Rajeev Suri, chief executive officer of Nokia Siemens Networks, said: “Subscribers everywhere are increasingly demanding better network quality and superior services. We look forward to working closely with Airtel to expand its network rapidly, and deliver the right innovative products and services to help meet these demands.”

Nokia Siemens Networks will use its FlexiHybrid microwave radio to address growing data traffic and provide the platform for a cost-effective transition to 3G, and potentially 4G networks in the future. The company will also provide its NetAct network management system for effective network monitoring and management.

In addition, Nokia Siemens Networks’ end-to-end managed services will enable Airtel to focus on delivering better customer experience and offer more innovative products and services to customers across markets.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

In partnership with Tecnotree, Mattel launches Ringback Tone service in Mauritania / Releases / Investors - Tecnotree

In partnership with Tecnotree, Mattel launches Ringback Tone service in Mauritania

Mattel, a joint venture of Tunisie Telecom group and private Mauritanian investors, has successfully launched Ringback Tone service in Mauritania. Today’s announcement marks a first in Mauritania, allowing mobile subscribers in Mattel’s network to replace the ring tone played for the calling party with a latest music hit, sound clip or other personalised media.

The service is based on Tecnotree’s Ringback Tone product, which is part of the broader range of call completion solutions available in the Tecnotree AgilityTM product suite. These solutions are designed to boost customer lifetime value by maximising the business opportunity around voice with appealing, innovative and complementary messaging solutions.

Tecnotree’s Ringback Tone product can be personalised by the subscriber. For example, the tone can be set to be different for different callers, it may vary depending on the time of the day and it may be different for special occasions. Subscribers can easily manage the ring back tones themselves using simple text messages or an interactive voice response. With this newly launched mobile service Mattel can now offer its subscribers a fun and highly personalised voice experience.

“Mattel is facing an increasingly competitive environment in Mauritania. We are highly motivated to reduce our operational expenses as well as improve our ability to quickly develop and launch new services in response to dynamic market conditions. We achieve these goals by deploying new technologies from Tecnotree. The successful long term cooperation with Tecnotree and the importance of Value-Added Services to differentiate ourselves as well as to tap into new, long-lasting revenue sources, encouraged us to intensify our relationship with Tecnotree into a more solid partnership.” says Stephane Blanc, Chief Marketing Officer, Mattel.

Tecnotree Managing Director, Middle East and North Africa, Kaius Kotkas adds: “Launching ring back tones with Mattel is an example of latent voice revenue potential we help our service provider customers unlock. Our aim at Tecnotree is to help operators like Mattel to boost customer lifetime value and establish themselves as leaders in their respective markets.”

Altech announces Interim Results

Altech announces Interim Results

JSE listed Allied Technologies Limited (Altech) today announced the Group’s interim results for the six months ended 31 August 2011.

“The first half of the financial year showed results below our expectations, particularly from our operations in East Africa. However, we are pleased to report that nearly all other operations within the Group performed to, or above, expectations and we remain optimistic that the second half of the financial year will show an improvement,” said Craig Venter, Altech CEO.

“Our strong presence across the Telecommunications, Multi-media and Information Technology sectors is unique to the South African environment. I know of no other corporate that has all three divisions within one group. This presence, together with our strong annuity income at 83% of total revenue, our stringent cost controls and capital management, and our positive cash position and Balance Sheet, effectively spreads risk and enables us to take advantage of opportunities as they arise,” continued Venter.

“During the reporting period we introduced a number of innovative new products and services into the market and made some strategic acquisitions, both locally and internationally, that will enable us to take advantage of new market trends as they arise. At the same time, I have a strong executive team in place that will focus on our East African footprint and enhance the profitability that emanates from these businesses,” said Venter.

Financial highlights for the year ended were as follows:

Revenue
R4.83 billion
EBITDA
R456 million
EBITDA margin
9.4%
Operating profit before capital items
R296 million
Operating profit margin
6.1%
Profit before tax (PBT)
R261 million
Adjusted HEPS
181 cents
Return on shareholders' equity
15.4%
Continued strong balance sheet
The Telecommunications and Wireless Communications Division, which consists of Altech Autopage Cellular, Altech Technology Concepts and Altech Netstar, performed as predicted. This division contributes 71% of group revenue and 76% of group profit.

During the period Altech Autopage Cellular increased its revenue and profits due to an increase in value-added services and pre-paid voucher sales.

“While the mobile market remains exceptionally competitive with aggressive price movements across all product segments, positive signs have appeared with an increase in consumer activity in the various channels,” said Venter.

“Results from Altech Technology Concepts were below expectation, although its Tier-1 network became available to the market in February 2011. While we received excellent customer feedback on this next generation network’s quality, resiliency and back-up capacity; significant costs were incurred and the focus now is to increase revenue by expanding the network’s distribution capacity, both directly and indirectly, over the next two years,” said Venter.

The Altech Netstar Group exceeded its profit expectations for the period, with a significant focus on developing value-added services around the division’s fleet management offering and the launch of the insurance telematics service in association with the world leader Octo.

“Offshore growth within the Netstar Group remains a key objective and we are currently considering various opportunities in Latin America. The opening of a new licensed operation in the Ivory Coast, as well as a joint venture in Mozambique, underscores our commitment to the development of a wider footprint in Africa,” said Venter.

The Converged Services Division, which consists of Altech Alcom Radio Distributors, Altech Fleetcall and Altech Stream East Africa, presented diverse results.

“Within the radio market, Altech Alcom Radio Distributors continued to perform, as we saw an increase in digital mobile radio sales and the division’s unit sales exceeded the same period last year, largely driven by improved pricing strategies and marketing initiatives. At the same time, Altech Fleetcall continued to increase its net billable connections by 8% year-on-year,” said Venter.

Altech East Africa experienced a tough trading period with financial performance below expectations and a concerted effort is being made to correct this under-performance. This has resulted in Altech changing the ongoing management team responsible for these particular activities.

“East Africa presented us with a number of challenges, not least of which was our exposure to foreign exchange currency fluctuations. While we have reduced our exposure to these fluctuations, we have also implemented a number of turnaround strategies to correct the underperformance of our operations in the region. New management has been appointed and while there will be a strong focus on resolving the existing operational and financial challenges, there will also be a number of actions to strategically strengthen the positioning of the businesses in the region. The opportunities for growth remain; execution is now the clear imperative,” said Venter.

The Multi-media and Electronics Division, which consists of Altech UEC and Arrow Altech Distribution, met all financial expectations for the period.

While the country awaits more movement on the part of Government with regard to digital migration, Altech UEC continues to export terrestrial set-top boxes (STBs) to African and Australian markets and is gearing up to meet local demand for STBs with the recent opening of its new hightechnology STB manufacturing facility. An African digital technology manufacturing first, the 13 500m2 state-of-the-art facility will enable Altech UEC to produce more than 300 000 STB units per month.

“The building of the factory was not only to gear up for the anticipated demand for locally produced STBs, but also as part of a wider strategy to enable Altech UEC to extend its manufacturing capabilities and remain a world class digital set-top box manufacturing and software solutions operation,” said Venter.

“Coupled with this, our recent 100% acquisition of SetOne GmbH, a German-based distribution, logistics, STB repair and servicing business, unlocks synergies with Altech Multimedia and enhances our ability to diversify Altech Multimedia’s income streams by growing its international business footprint and reducing its reliance on locally generated business. This is in line with the Altech Group’s strategy to increase non-SA revenue and profits,” said Venter.

The Information Technology Division, which consists of Altech ISIS, Altech West Africa, Altech Card Solutions and Altech NuPay, showed satisfactory results, with the South African businesses showing good results, while the West African business underperformed due to delayed deliveries and a temporarily overstocked position at a key customer.

“Our focus for West Africa remains on driving cost efficiencies. In addition, we are expanding the division’s product lines to include the supply of initialised and personalised chip-card products to the Nigerian telecommunications network operators and financial service providers. We expect to see an improved performance as we assist in the Nigerian government’s drive to transition the banking and retailing market segments from a cash-based transacting model to a card-based model,” said Venter.

Commenting on the way forward, Venter said that the second six months’ performance would be an improvement on the first half, as certain adverse factors which were specific to the period will not recur and due to the fact that a number of interventions had been put into place to ensure profitability from all operations.

“As a whole, the majority of our operations in South Africa are performing well ahead of our profit expectations, despite the continuing adverse economic conditions. Of concern are our operations in East Africa where we have not performed to the standards that were originally set by ourselves. We have subsequently implemented a number of strategic initiatives, as well as management changes, at both Group and divisional level to address these issues and we expect to see their positive impact in the months to come,” he said.

“Our objectives remain the same – we will continue to defend our revenues and margins in all our existing businesses; we will continue to transform our business model to capture growth opportunities; we will continue to improve our customer orientation and commercial focus; and we will ensure strong top management involvement in all our operations,” concluded Venter.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Jinny Software Enables Mobile Advertising at Zain Sudan



DUBLIN, September 26 , 2011- Jinny Software, a leading global supplier of messaging, call completion and mobile advertising solutions to wireless carriers, has won a highly competitive pitch to supply Zain Sudan with an innovative mobile advertising platform. The Jinny Mobile Advertising Platform (JMAP) is a powerful system on which operators can implement mobile marketing and advertising campaigns. It includes a wide array of advertising channels, simple campaign design and deployment, profiled opt-in and opt-out for subscribers and integrated reporting.

Zain Sudan (formerly Mobitel) is the pioneer of GSM services in Sudan, being the first to offer mobile operations back in February 1997. Today it serves the largest base of mobile customers in the country with more than 10 million active customers.

“We chose Jinny for our mobile advertising solution because of their experience, both globally and regionally with our sister company Zain Jordan. We are also very excited about the huge potential for mobile advertising in our market,” says Magdi Taha, IT Director of Zain Sudan. “A further compelling reason was the fact that our core VAS platform is from Jinny, which means seamless integration and a rapid turnaround time for market launch.”

Mobile marketing and advertising has been experiencing extensive growth in recent years and offers lucrative revenue potential for mobile operators. According to Analysts Gartner, worldwide mobile advertising revenue is forecast to rapidly grow from USD$3.3 billion in 2011 to $20.6 billion by 2015. According to independent mobile ad network InMobi’s Mobile Insights Report, mobile advertising in the Africa region has already grown by 21% this year.

“With this launch Zain Sudan are reaffirming their credentials as market innovators, supporting and empowering local businesses to promote and grow their business,” says Richard Choi, Jinny Chief Commercial Officer. “Mobile advertising is taking off in Africa, and we aim to support Zain Sudan in driving that trend.”

Friday, 23 September 2011

Essar Telecom Kenya (yuMobile) selects Tata Communications as its sole provider of international voice termination

Mumbai (BSE) & New York (NYSE) - 22 September, 2011 - Tata Communications, a global communications service provider, and Essar Telecom Kenya (yuMobile), a unit of Essar Group, today announce the signing of a mutually beneficial strategic sourcing agreement. Under the landmark deal, yuMobile will, exclusively, route all its international voice traffic through Tata Communications' network. yuMobile continues to be one of the company's key suppliers of telecommunication services throughout Kenya.

The partnership will allow yuMobile to tap into Tata Communications' extensive and robust voice infrastructure, enabling it to deliver higher quality international calls at competitive rates to customers in Kenya. Through yuMobile, Tata Communications will benefit from the increasing demand for high quality voice services in Africa generated by a rapid rise in the number of mobile subscribers on the continent.

Catherine Halsam, a wholesale telecoms analyst at Ovum commented, "Ovum’s research shows that there were about 550 million mobile connections in Africa at the end of 2010 and we expect this number to almost double to just shy of 1 billion by 2016. Africa’s rapid telecoms awakening is all about rising demand driven by the falling costs of mobile connectivity and improved coverage."

Madhur Taneja, Country Manager, yuMobile says: "We understand the importance of tying up with partners who can deliver the best in their field of expertise". Working with Tata Communications ensures that we're able to deliver the highest call service quality to our customers today, and in the future, as our subscriber base grows. Having access to Tata Communications' extensive global network and advanced voice traffic management tools allow us to focus on our core business and the latest mobile technology advancements, giving us the competitive edge in the booming African mobile market."

Michel Guyot, President of Global Voice Solutions, Tata Communications, says: "Becoming yuMobile's sole provider for international voice termination is a unique deal for us in Africa. Africa represents one of the strongest growth opportunities in the voice sector and our experience in the region means that we are ideally placed to help yuMobile build its business in Kenya. The solutions that we offer enable our customers to become more competitive in their regions by reducing costs, streamlining operations and improving service quality, while allowing them to focus on core services."

Tata Communications' strategic voice traffic outsourcing and advanced voice traffic management tools will allow yuMobile to minimise the administrative burden and operational costs associated with managing an international voice interconnect organisation. It will also enable the company to focus on its core business and capitalise on the key growth areas in the African market.

yuMobile will benefit from Tata Communications' scale and routing expertise as well competitive costs for international call termination. This stable cost structure will allow the company to roll out promotions to its customers without compromising on quality. Working with Tata Communications also eliminates the financial risks that could occur due to misroutes and the improper code and cost management associated with managing international voice.

Tata Communications was awarded the Best Global Wholesale Services Provider by Capacity Magazine for its network reach, its strategic partnership approach and its commitment to improving capacity to the fastest growing emerging markets.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Ericsson Selects Callidus for Egyptian Telecommunications Leader

Ericsson Selects Callidus for Egyptian Telecommunications Leader

PLEASANTON, Calif., September 21, 2011 — Callidus Software Inc. (NASDAQ: CALD), the leader in Sales Performance Management (SPM), announced today that Ericsson, the world's leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators, has selected Callidus' Enterprise SPM suite to drive the internal sales force and channel partner performance of a leading Egyptian telecommunications company. The agreement was signed in the third quarter of 2011.

Ericsson will implement the following Callidus SPM modules: TrueComp® Manager, Reporting & Analytics, and Channel Management.

Tier-1 Middle East mobile operator selects Actix to streamline optimization

September 20, 2011
Actix’s solution will enable the operator to improve customer experience whilst increasing operational efficiency

Actix, a leader in mobile network analytics and optimization solutions, announced that a tier-1 Middle East operator is deploying Actix’s Network Optimization solution.

The Actix solution will automatically combine multi-vendor, multi-technology network data with geo-located customer experience data. It will replace fragmented tools and scripts to provide a single unified view of the network. This will make establishing both network and customer experience KPIs a straightforward process, allowing the operator to focus activities on areas that will have the greatest impact on both the network and customer.


In addition using powerful inbuilt analytics the system will identify issues, recommend solutions and automate optimization activities currently performed manually by engineers so saving them time. This is expected to deliver increased operational efficiency, effectively doubling the work capacity of the RAN engineering teams.
A further benefit is that the single view of the network can be shared by both the operator and managed service providers, leading to an improved joint understanding of network performance and customer experience.

“By incorporating customer experience data into our optimization solutions we’re enabling operators to look beyond the network and deliver improvements to their customers where it matters the most.” said Bill McHale, Actix CEO