Altimo makes a play for Orascom Telecom Holding

Altimo has made a bid to own all shares in Egyptian counterpart Orascom Telecom Holding

Russian operator group Altimo has made a bid to acquire all shares in Egyptian counterpart Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH). The firm made an offer via the Egyptian Stock Exchange, and OTH said it learned about the offer through a notice published by Egypt’s Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA).

Google, Carlson launch white space trial in South Africa

Google has long been interested in white spaces

US white space specialist Carlson Wireless has teamed up with Google to launch the first wireless broadband trial using TV white space in South Africa. The test case will focus on offering wireless connectivity to ten schools across the Cape Town area in an attempt to show that broadband can be offered over white spaces without interfering with licensed spectrum holders.

Group Director Marketing, Expresso Telecom, Africa: “LTE will become a critical enabling platform for commerce”

Asif Aziz, Group Director Marketing Products and Propositions, Expresso Telecom, Africa

Asif Aziz, Group Director Marketing Products and Propositions, Expresso Telecom, Africa, is taking part in a panel discussion entitled ‘Getting Ready for LTE: Deployment Considerations’, on Day One of the LTE World Summit, the premier 4G event for the telecoms industry, on the 24th-26th June 2013, at the Amsterdam RAI, Netherlands. Ahead of the show, Aziz gives us a few insights into the opportunities LTE presents in Africa.

Ericsson wins African managed services deal

Ericsson has secured a five-year deal to manage mobile networks across Africa

Swedish infrastructure vendor Ericsson has secured a five-year deal to manage mobile networks across Africa. The firm has signed a managed services contract with Atlantique Telecom, part of the UAE-headquartered Etisalat Group, for the operator’s Western and Central African operations.

Optical network market “poised for growth in 2013″

optical fibre

The global market for optical network hardware looks set to have a good year in 2013, with North America and 100G expected to shine particularly bright, according to a report from Infonetics Research.

Etisalat calls on Huawei’s consultancy services

Dubai-based Etisalat has signed a global consultancy services deal with Huawei

UAE-based operator group Etisalat has signed a global consultancy services agreement with Chinese vendor Huawei. According to the operator, Huawei’s business consulting team will partner with Etisalat stakeholders to assist in developing the operator’s mobile broadband services and its digital services portfolio.

Cameroon’s Eto’o MVNO workers go on strike

Samuel Eto'o, owner of Eto'o Telecom

Cameroonian MVNO Eto’o Telecom’s employees have taken to the country’s streets in protest of unpaid wages, according to local reports. The MVNO is most notable for being owned by Cameroon international footballer Samuel Eto’o – the highest played footballer in the world, according to business news website Business Insider.

India’s Aircel offers mobile money

Indian operator Aircel is among the first companies to offer a mobile money programme using the service, in an equal partnership with local bank ICICI

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 Africa project highlights the continent’s importance to technology players

Microsoft sees great potential in Africa

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.

Portugal Telecom signs with mobile payment provider

Portugal Telecom will use mPowa's bluetooth PoS terminal for smartphones and tablets

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.

Microsoft, Huawei bring sub-$150 smartphones to Africa

Microsoft sees great potential in Africa

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.

Nigeria’s ‘free phones for farmers’ plan reveals incoherence of rural strategy

African farmers are to get subsidised phones

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.

Liquid consolidates pan-African fibre network

Orange is set to help African academic institutions with its Emerginov solution

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.

Etisalat mulls bid for stake in Maroc Telecom

Etisalat is mulling over a bid for Morocco's Maroc Telecom

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.

ANALYSIS: The war operators can’t win


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.

Orange subsidiary eyes opportunities in new markets

Orange is sponsoring the Africa Cup of Nations 2013 pan-African football tournament in South Africa

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.

Orange signs exclusive deal with China’s Baidu for Middle East and Africa

Orange has partnered with Chinese search engine Baidu on a mobile web browser for the MEA region

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.

Alca-Lu to build new super-fast broadband network in Tunisia

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.

MTN Uganda announces LTE roll-out plans

MTN Uganda will bring LTE to the country during 2013

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.

Qtel ups Tunisiana holding to 90%


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.