Tanzania regulator seeks 69 percent interconnection rate decreaseIn a move that has recieved widespread praise, Tanzania’s telecom regulator is seeking to decrease interconnection charges in the country as part of an effort to boost mobile phone use among users.
According to the Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), it has proposed a 69 percent decrease in interconnection fees.
The move is aimed at creating the means for users of mobile phones to have been access and cheaper rates when calling users on different networks in the East African country.
Local reports in the country indicate that the regulator wants the new rates to be in place by March 1 as a way of boosting voice calls in the country.
Despite the regulator’s intention, mobile operators in the country are not backing the reductions fully, asking for the decrease to not be as much as the TCRA is demanding.
Operators want a higher rate of TZS 84, and according to a report in Daily News, “the 69 percent decrease proposed by the TCRA for the first year on a cost-based model was too high.”
Airtel Legal Officer Clara Mramba said the regulator “should have considered the operational costs incurred by telecommunications companies when reviewing the interconnection charges.”
But the TCRA is adamant. Director Victor Nkya argued that the proposal “was a result of a study conducted by an independent consultant, Pricewaterhouse Coopers.”
The consultant recommended the rate should eventually reach TZS 26.96 in 2017, the report suggested.
Acting Assistant Director of Telecommunications at the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology Samson John said the “interconnection cost model was aimed at reducing costs to consumers.”
It is unclear if the government will approve the massive decrease, and analysts tell Bikyanews.com that the move is likely to be well-received by users, who have complained of high costs of making voice calls in recent months.
France Telecom buys Alcazar Capital’s stake in Orange KenyaFrance Telecom now has a 60 percent stake in Orange Kenya after it purchased the 11 percent shares owned by Alcazar Capital, the company said. France Telecom did not disclose the amount made in the purchase.
Local reports also said that the French giant has replaced Alcazar’s CEO Charbel Jaoude on Orange Kenya’s board as part of the overhaul and purchase.
The two companies had jointly acquired Orange East Africa in 2007, changing the name to Orange Kenya as a special vehicle
The acquisition also gives France Telecom more liquidity and mobility in the fast-growing mobile sector in East Africa.
According to Tom Wright, France Telecom’s press officer, “Alcazar was no longer an indirect shareholder of Orange Kenya since mid-2012 when France Telecom-Orange acquired Alcazar’s stake in the holding company OREA (Orange East Africa).”
Alcazar had gained the stake after paying $83 million of the $390 million that the consortium led by France Telecom had offered for purchase of the 51 percent stake in Orange Kenya.
A recent restructuring plan cut their stake in Orange Kenya to 40 percent from 49 percent and raised France Telecom’s stake to 60 percent. The French firm also wrote off debt to the Kenyan subsidiary for KES 15 billion.
By IT News.
Mobile, M2M and data driving Africa’s connectivityThere are 695 million mobile connections in Africa, representing 65% penetration, with one in four people connected by mobile phones and 22 million mobile broadband subscribers. These were just a few statistics communicated to delegates at AfricaCom 2012, hosted in Cape Town.
Introducing keynote speaker Alan Knott-Craig, CEO of South African mobile operator Cell C, Mark Newman, Chief Research Officer at Informa Telecoms & Media, said the evolution from connectivity to broadband and IP services, that characterises the African communications landscape, represents a 65 billion Dollar industry in terms of end user revenue.
Alan Knott-Craig, CEO of South African mobile operator Cell C.
Newman said that the generation of data and data traffic remains a key influence in the market, as does the increase in confidence in LTE.
“The emphasis is on wireless to grow broadband on the continent… machine-to-machine can be used to leapfrog over old world technologies,” Newman explained.
In his keynote presentation, Knott-Craig emphasised the role of telecommunications “as a means to an end” and said that more attention should be paid to the end result and what should be achieved using technology.
Knott-Craig also mentioned the relevance of third and fourth operators across Africa and said that their main function was to maintain stability and drive down costs.
“Countries like Tanzania, DRC and Nigeria have been successful in launching third and fourth operators,” he said.
Whilst the rollout of LTE in Africa does offer an opportunity for increased speed of connectivity, Knott-Craig reiterated that this is dependent on spectrum allocation and availability.
As far as affordable communication within the country is concerned, he added that there is little point in trying to make communication affordable unless there is communication in place.
By Chris Tredger, Online Editor(IT News).
TANZANIA SET TO BECOME ICT HUB
Dar es Salaam. Tanzania is set to realize its dream of becoming a communication hub for East, Central and Southern Africa region, thanks to the strengthening of its National Fibre Optic Cable network in and outside the country.
Already, the National Fibre Optic Cable has been connected with undersea fibre optic cable systems of SEACOM and the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy). Plans are underway to connect it with The East African Marine System (TEAMS).
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology, Dr Florens Turuka told journalists at the weekend that the National Fibre Optic Cable is now connected to all regional headquarters in Tanzania Mainland and some district headquarters.
“In Tanzania, seven telecommunication companies are connected to the National Fibre Optic Cable,” Dr Turuka said.
He mentioned the companies as Airtel Tanzania, Infinitty, Simbanet, Tigo Tanzania, Tanzania Telecommunication Company Limited (TTCL), Vodacom Tanzania and Zantel.
He said that the government through his ministry and TTCL had already built a 7,560 kilometre fibre optic cable. These include new 5,448 kilometre built and 2,112 kilometer built by Tanesco along the main national grid ways.
Explaining further he said the national fibre optic cable had enabled other countries’ cable networks or communication systems to take advantage of it and connect.
The countries are Kenya through (Namanga, Sirari and Horohoro), Rwanda (Rusumo), Burundi (Kabanga), Malawi (Kasumulu), Zambia (Tunduma), Uganda (Mutukula) and Msumbiji (Mtambaswala).
Also telecommunication companies from neighboring countries have been connected in the national fibre optic cable and these include MTL (Malawi); MTN (Zambia); MTN, RDB, Airtel, KDN, RwandaTel, and BCS (Rwanda); UCOM and ECONET (Burundi).
Dr. Turuka said the advent of the fibre optic network has helped facilitating communication in financial, education, health, agriculture, commerce, and tourism sectors.
He explained that because of conducive environment to develop communication sector, private sector entities in the country have ventured in building metro networks so that to better utilise the national fibre optic cable in offering communication services.
Giving example, he said already the Dar es Salaam metro network covering 90 kilometer has been completed and started to be used. It is expected that other metro networks in Arusha, Mwanza, Dodoma, Morogoro and Mbeya will be built in the future.