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.