Operator group Portugal Telecom has taken a step towards facilitating mobile payments after signing a partnership with m-commerce solutions provider Powa. The partnership aims to bring mobile payment services to small businesses and the SOHO segment in Portugal, Brazil and markets in Africa.
Indian operator Aircel has launched a mobile money programme using payment provider Visa’s plug-and-play mobile money platform . The platform aims to make it easier and more cost-efficient for mobile operators and financial institutions to offer mobile financial services to consumers. Aircel’s offering is in an equal partnership with local bank ICICI.
Microsoft’s new drive to target Africa – the 4Afrika initiative, as the software giant’s marketing people have styled it –
highlights the growing and deserved importance of the continent to global technology players.
US software giant Microsoft this week pledged to invest around $74m in Africa over the next three years, introducing tens of millions of smart devices into the hands of the local youth and bringing over a million small and medium sized enterprises online.
In 4Q12, Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development announced plans for a program under which free phones would be distributed to farmers. The news sparked controversy, an indicator of the extent to which many Nigerians have lost trust in government initiatives, though poor and fragmented communication from the government is also to blame.
African fibre network operator and subsidiary of Econet Wireless, Liquid Telecom, said Tuesday it has struck a deal to acquire the East African telecom assets of Altech Group. The move will create Africa’s largest single fibre network across Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Botswana, DRC, Lesotho and South Africa.
UAE based operator group Etisalat has confirmed that it has submitted a preliminary expression of interest to acquire French conglomerate Vivendi’s 53 per cent shareholding in Maroc Telecom, as it looks to expand its geographic footprint. Maroc Telecom, a publicly listed company on both the Casablanca and Euronext Paris Stock Exchanges, is Morocco’s market leading operator with over 17.4 million subscribers in Morocco, according to Informa’s WCIS.
As mobile operators expand their geographical horizons, they are increasingly finding themselves setting up shop in emerging markets; markets that are dynamic and undergoing major economic and social transition. However, as many have recently found out, such markets are not without their challenges and can often play home to political unrest. Providing the lines of communication to the general public during times of intense political turmoil can be a gruelling task for operators.
Global operator group Orange has launched a subsidiary that aims to increase its brand awareness in countries where it is not already present as a mass-market telecommunications provider.
France-based mobile operator Orange has signed an exclusive partnership with China’s premier search provider Baidu to bring a mobile web browser to customers in the Middle East and Africa.
Tunisiana, the largest provider of wireless communication services in the north African country of Tunisia, has awarded a four-year contract to build, manage and maintain a high-speed wireline broadband network to Paris-headquartered equipment vendor Alcatel-Lucent.
The roll out of LTE in Africa continues apace as MTN announces that it will be launching a network in Uganda in 2013. The subsidiary of the South African network has announced plans to upgrade its network to offer speeds of up to 100Mbps and said it would be investing $70m in network infrastructure during 2013, following on from the $80m it said it spent in 2012.
Qatari incumbent operator Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has announced that it is to acquire a further 15 per cent stake in its Tunisian counterpart, Tunisiana, from the North African country’s government. Q-Tel already holds a direct 75 per cent stake in Tunisiana through its subsidiary Wataniya and this latest 15 per cent, for which Q-Tel is paying US$360m, will take its holding to 90 per cent.
Ethiopia’s monopoly operator Ethio Telecom has announced plans to deploy LTE services in the country’s capital, Addis Ababa.The operator recently launched a program of 26 projects aimed at improving service provision, customer handling and communication, and network expansion.
MTN has chosen equipment vendor Ericsson to launch its LTE network in South Africa, which following a year-long trial is now live in the Johannesburg, Pretoria and Durban areas. LTE has not been deployed in the city of Cape Town at present.
Chams Eddine Diagne, Africa General Manager, Viadeo, talks to telecoms.com at AfricaCom 201, about growing a professional social network with 45 million members.
Nicola D’Elia, Growth Manager Africa, Facebook, talks to telecoms.com at AfricaCom 2012 about growing the social network’s presence in Africa.
Clinton Pierce, sales director for sub-Saharan Africa at StreamWide talks to telecoms.com at AfricaCom 2012 about two key opportunities: collect call and social telephony.
Spotting the opportunity in the African emerging market, France Telecom has launched the Orange brand in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). The operator group acquired domestic operator CCT in October 2011 and has invested CDF87.4bn ($95m) since to expand and upgrade its network.
A software solution created by Orange is set to help African academic institutions, organisations and NGOs in their mobile services development projects. Emerginov, a solution produced by the operator group’s R&D subsidiary Orange Labs, incorporates multiple open source software components and enables the development of applications based on SMS or on vocal interfaces.