The Association of Licensed Telecommunications Operators of Nigeria (ALTON) is an Incorporated Trustees formed in the year 2000. It is the industry body for all telecommunications companies and those providing subsidiary services to telecommunications service providers in Nigeria. Its objective is to promoting growth in the telecommunications sector and, ultimately, ehnance efficient and affordable telecommunications services delivery to users of these services. Membership of ALTON consists of companies duly licensed in Nigeria to provide telecommunications and related services. These services include telephony services (fixed and mobile), internet and other data services, as well as of infrastructure and other support services/value adding services. Read more..

 
 
 
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Hutch, Vimpelcom submit Italian merger to EU
European Commission sets provisional deadline of 11 March in consolidation case.
BT tests G.fast for copper-based backhaul
U.K. incumbent says technology removes need to invest in dedicated fibre connections.
Sweden working on new 1800-MHz sale
PTS to auction off spectrum block in Q4, invites stakeholder comments.
EE bags Chiltern Rail deal
U.K. mobile operator to boost on-board WiFi, mobile coverage.
RCom makes progress with SSTL takeover
Indian operator to hold court-convened shareholder meeting on 8 March.
GSMA releases IoT security guidelines
Telcos back industry body's bid to standardise approach to countering threats to connected objects.
New UK homes to get fibre broadband
Government brokers deal between BT Openreach, Home Builders Federation.
New UK homes to get fibre broadband
Government brokers deal between BT Openreach, Home Builders Federation.
New UK homes to get fibre broadband
Government brokers deal between BT Openreach, Home Builders Federation.

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AllAfrica News: ICT and Telecom
All Africa, All the Time.

South Africa: Why Cell C Is Fighting for Unregulated Over-the-Top Services
[The Daily Vox] Before last week's parliamentary portfolio committee meetings on over-the-top (OTT) services regulation, Cell C released a statement by its CEO Jose dos Santos that said that "Vodacom and MTN have declared war on consumer interests" in a bid to maintain "their stranglehold on a vital artery feeding [South Africa]'s economic and social future". But why is Cell C alone among the major networks on the side of unregulated OTTs? STUART LEWIS tries to figure it out.
Nigeria: MTN Nigeria's Legal Battles Pile Up
[News24Wire] Abu Dhabi headquartered telecoms company Etisalat is suing MTN [JSE:MTN] for the second time in under a year in Nigeria.
Africa: Start-Up mPedigree Uses Mobiles to Help Companies Track Products and ...
[Balancing Act] London -The African start-ups that seem to be gaining fastest traction are those that have focused on "the plumbing": business processes that can be both enabled and made more efficient by mobile phones. Ghana's mPedigree Network is one of those rare start-ups that has rolled out in multiple markets and is profitable. Russell Southwood talked to mPedigree Networks Bright Simons about how it works.
South Africa: SA Startup Targets Killing Parking Tickets
[News24Wire] The days of using paper tickets at parking bays could be numbered if a local startup has its way.
Ghana: Ghana Migrates From Analogue to Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting
[Ghana Govt.] To ensure that broadcasting services are protected from interference from neighboring countries and for improved services, Ghana will be migrating from Analogue to Digital Terrestrial Broadcasting by March 2016, according to the Ministry of Communications.
South Africa: Government Needs Private Sector to Refresh SA Connect
[Daily Maverick] The ANC government's fixation with its developmental state as the apex service delivery vehicle is proving to be the major impediment to the delivery of South Africa Connect, an ambitious and inclusive broadband policy to connect 100% of the population to high-speed communications infrastructure by 2030. By MARIAN SHINN.
South Africa: Western Cape Boasts SA's Highest Internet Usage
[News24Wire] Internet access in the Western Cape is higher than the national average.
South Africa: ICT Firm Adapts to Challenges
[CAJ News] Johannesburg -ADAPT-IT, the Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed provider of specialised software solutions, has released a satisfactory set of results for the half-year ended December 31.
Tanzania: Helping People Communicate Comfortably Through Mobile Messaging App...
[Daily News] In today's world, people, particularly the young are continually adapting to new ways of communicating electronically to fit their needs.
Malawi: 'Intensify On ICT Research'
[Malawi News Agency] Lilongwe -Director of the Board at Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) Gladys Mwale on Monday asked the Communications Regulators Association of Southern Africa (CRASA) to intensify on information, communication and technology (ICT) research.
Tanzania: 55 to Lose Jobs As Airtel Restructures
[Daily News] AirtelTanzania yesterday announced that it was embarking on "strategic rightsizing" exercise to reposition its business and enhance delivery of its services.
Rwanda: Telecoms Reignite Price Wars, Slash Call Rates
[New Times] Prices wars in the local telecom sector have been reignited with some of the players cutting call rates across the board. It all started with Tigo Rwanda reducing rates by up to 40 per cent recently, enabling its subscribers to make calls at Rwf35 per minute down from Rwf60 a minute previously.
Rwanda: Mixed Reactions As Cashless Bus Fare Payment Is Rolled Out in Kigali
[New Times] Last week, the City of Kigali rolled out an e-fare payment system for public transport users on selected city routes, like the Kanombe-Kigali route. The move is part of its Smart Kigali initiative and efforts geared at green development by cutting down on paper production which hurts the environment.
Nigeria: MTN Must Pay Fine, Says Government
[Independent (Lagos)] Mobile giant MTN must pay substantial part of the N780billion fine imposed on it for subscriber identity module (SIM)registration guideline infractions before any out of court settlement could honoured, the Federal Government said yesterday.
Tanzania: EFDs Set to Block Tax Evaders
[Citizen] Arusha -Arusha City Council is planning to use electronic fiscal devices (EFDs) for collecting revenue in a bid to double its receipts from Sh13 billion to Sh24 a year, city mayor Calist Lazaro has said.

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TeleGeography CommsUpdate
Daily news on every market in the global telecommunications industry.

FET aiming to hit 4G subscriber milestone by end-2014
Taiwanese multi-service operator Far EasTone Telecommunications Co (FET) is reportedly hoping to have signed up a total of one million 4G subscribers by the end of 2014. According to the Taipei Times, citing comments made by FET vice-president Maxwell Cheng, the operator currently has around 700,000 customers accessing services over its LTE network. With the executive saying it expects a total of three million 4G users in Taiwan across all providers by that date, it targets a 30% market share in the nascent sector. Meanwhile, FET president Yvonne Li has suggested that 4G uptake could surge should the supply of the in-demand Apple iPhone 6 handset improve, noting: ?The shortage of iPhone 6 handsets in Taiwan is because of strong demand in the US and Europe, as consumers there increase purchases before the Christmas holiday ? We think we still have a chance to increase our 4G clients from next month until the Lunar New Year, if we can source more iPhone 6 handsets.? According to the report, with FET having spent around TWD13 billion (USD424 million) this year on its networks and services, it had now completed rolling out LTE-1800MHz infrastructure and will begin the construction of small cell base stations using the 2600MHZ band next year.
Telekom Slovenije to sell stake in Gibtelecom
Telekom Slovenije will reportedly divest its 50% stake in Gibtelecom to Gibraltar?s government for EUR47.7 million (USD59.6 million), according to a filling with the Ljubljana Stock Exchange. Gibtelecom?s chairman and deputy chief minister, the Hon. Joseph Garcia, was cited as saying that ?in the light of the ongoing sale of the Telekom Slovenije group this shares buy-back enables the government to influence the way forward on the ownership of a communications business that plays an important role for Gibraltar in today?s digital economy?. Further, he noted that the state was keen not to allow a decision on a future strategic partner for Gibtelecom to be ?driven by others outside Gibraltar?. It is understood that the transaction will be completed at a Gibtelecom board meeting scheduled to be held next month.
Tele2 Russia to retain 450MHz spectrum, but not for LTE
ComNews writes that Tele2 Russia plans to retain frequencies in the 450MHz band, formerly held by Rostelecom subsidiary SkyLink before the setting up of their joint mobile venture T2 RTC Holding, but it does not intend to use the band to develop Long Term Evolution (LTE) services unless it can secure additional 450MHz bandwidth at some point in the future. Tele2 Russia deputy director general Alexander Provorotov confirmed that while the company had considered LTE-450 services, it does not hold sufficient bandwidth to make it commercially viable. However, he added: 'The frequency is not going away, we will not give them to anybody. If we get the opportunity to get additional frequencies in this range and increase the bandwidth, we consider it carefully?. *In October this year, TeleGeography reported that Russia?s State Radio Frequency Commission (SRFC) authorised the use of frequencies in the 403MHz-410MHz, 417MHz-422MHz, 433MHz-450MHz and 469MHz-470MHz bands for the development of fixed, cellular and land mobile radio use. The 450MHz band is ideal for deployment in rural areas as lower frequency bandwidths are able to serve a greater geographical area, meaning that a lower number of base stations are needed to be deployed to cover a much wider area. The use of the band is not limited to cellular providers; other users include ambulance, taxi and fire protection services. However, the decision will be of interest to a number of Russian cellular operators which currently use the 450MHz band' such as T2 RTC Holding. Irina Rybakov, a spokesperson for Tele2 Russia said at the time that whilst the group welcomed the decision, it needs more details on the precise details before it can proceed. According to her, a lot will ultimately depend on the specific conditions of distribution and use of this spectrum.
Telefonica unveils Tuenti sub-brand in Argentina
Following launches in Spain, Mexico and Peru, Spanish telecoms group Telefonica has launched its pre-paid sub-brand Tuenti Movil in Argentina, targeting the youth segment. The service uses Movistar?s network and provides unlimited access to WhatsApp and SMS on all of its plans. According to Spanish website CincoDias.com, Tuenti will replace Telefonica?s existing Quam brand, which targets a similar youth demographic. According to the report, Quam launched roughly a year ago, and has attracted around 40,000 users to date, but will be rejected in favour of Tuenti, which Telefonica views as a global brand capable of attracting one million subscribers across its international footprint by end-2015.*According to TeleGeography?s GlobalComms Database, Telefonica launched Tuenti in its domestic market in 2010, before extending the brand to Mexico in June 2014 and Peru in October 2014.
RCOM stable as cost-cutting compensates for falling turnover
Reliance Communications (RCOM) has registered a 16.3% quarter-on-quarter increase in net profits, as minor improvements in the operator?s mobile customer base and decreases in expenses offset the impact of falling revenues from its global operations, and non-mobile services in India. Total revenues dipped by 2.2% q-o-q for the three months ended 30 September 2014 to INR54.03 billion (USD875.5 million), following a 6.2% decline in turnover from RCOM?s global operations and a 27.8% fall in earnings from ?other? services in India ? including data centres and direct to home (DTH) TV. Revenues from telecoms services, meanwhile, increased by 0.4% on a quarterly basis to INR45.35 billion. Consequently, EBITDA was down 1.9% q-o-q to INR18.27 billion but a 12.6% fall in finance charges saw net profits rise from INR1.64 billion to INR2.141 billion. In operational terms, RCOM?s mobile subscriber base grew to 111.3 million (up a 1.1% q-o-q), of which 15.1 million (+16.2%) were 3G users.
Osiptel bans handset locking from 2015
Peruvian telecoms regulator Osiptel has ruled that, from 2 January 2015, mobile operators will no longer be allowed to lock handsets, preventing them from being used on a rival cellco?s network. The watchdog noted that this change in policy had been discussed since 2013, but was now to be implemented to further the recent increase in competition and to complement the increasing popularity of mobile number portability (MNP). As previously noted by CommsUpdate, the reduction in porting time to less than 24 hours in July this year has resulted in an uptick in the use of MNP.
A new challenger has entered the ring: Junkanoo promises ?Quantum leap?, whil...
Pan-Caribbean operator Digicel has confirmed its intention to bid for the Bahamas? second mobile licence, saying that it is eager to turn the nation into a ?powerhouse? through its telecoms services, the Nassau Guardian writes, citing the company?s chief operating officer Claudio Hidalgo. ?Imagine a Bahamas where smart technology is applied in smart ways to tackle social issues, foster new ways of learning, drive in-country and cross-border collaboration and ultimately position the Bahamas at the forefront of the global knowledge economy,? the official was quoted as saying. *In a related development, three local providers have thrown their hats into the ring, including Cable Bahamas, Limitless Bahamas (formerly IP Solutions International [IPSI]) and, most recently, Junkanoo Mobile. Tribune242 quotes a Junkanoo spokesperson, Franklyn Winder, as saying that the company ? which is yet to reveal any details regarding its financing, shareholders or partners ? is supported by a six-strong executive team with extensive global communications experience. Junkanoo is planning to roll out a Long Term Evolution (LTE) network and has ?engaged one of the world?s leading manufacturers in the mobile and telecoms industry to customise, design and build a premium network.? Mr Winder went on, adding that the network would be ?a quantum leap from what is now being experienced by the Bahamian community. Consumers could expect to see fewer dropped calls, lower prices and far better technology.? The spokesman also noted that the company had lined up a number of strategic financial partners, but stopped short of naming any of the parties.
TD boosts LTE speeds to 300Mbps in select areas
Telekom Deutschland (TD), the domestic fixed and mobile subsidiary of German telecoms giant Deutsche Telekom, has been able to offer LTE speeds of up to 300Mbps in selected areas since 17 November. The company said the speed increase was made possible by using the 2600MHz frequency band in combination with its established 1800MHz 4G network to create more capacity for high speeds data transfer in urban areas, including: Berlin, Bonn, Chemnitz, Cologne, Dortmund, Dresden, Dusseldorf, Duisburg, Leipzig, Magdeburg, Mannheim, Potsdam, Rostock and Stuttgart. To experience 300Mbps LTE speeds, residential and business customers require a Cat.6 mobile device and a relevant 4G tariff, such as MagentaMobil L Plus, Data Comfort L and Mobile Data L and XL. TD says its LTE network, which uses frequencies in the 800MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz bands, currently covers around 79% of the population.
Viettel seeks 80% of Telkom Kenya?
The long-running sale of Orange Group's 70% shareholding in Telkom Kenya has reportedly been complicated by Viettel Group's intention to secure an additional 10% stake in the telco from the Kenyan Treasury, effectively reducing the government's 30% stake. According to a report by Standard Media, which cites an unnamed source with knowledge of the matter, there are fears that this 10% stake, or at least a portion of it, will go to a group of powerful local businessmen who are alleged to be looking out for the interests of the Vietnamese group. The local businessmen are also allegedly aiming to assist Viettel push for an extension of all licences held by Telkom Kenya for another 15 years. However, the government has said that Viettel?s demands for the treasury to cede an additional 10% and extend Telkom?s licences are ?baseless?. Treasury Cabinet Secretary Henry Rotich told Business Beat that the government would not cede any more of its stake: ?We won?t give in to [Viettel?s] requests. This is a privatisation issue that is guided by rules and procedures,? he was quoted as saying.
PCCS cable lands in Ecuador
A new consortium high speed (100Gbps) fibre-optic cable, the Pacific Caribbean Cable System (PCCS), has landed at Manta, Ecuador, linking the country with Balboa, Panama. According to Ecuadorian wholesale carrier Telconet, cited by TeleSemana, the PCCS undersea system has a capacity 60 times greater than that Ecuador is currently consuming. The PCCS consortium includes Cable & Wireless Communications, Setar, Telconet, Telefonica Global Solutions and United Telecommunication Services (UTS). As shown on TeleGeography's Submarine Cable Map, the PCCS cable, stretching from the US to Ecuador, is expected to be ready for service (RFS) in 2015, arriving ahead of another planned undersea system with connectivity to Ecuador - the South America Pacific Link (SAPL) - a venture of Ocean Networks with an RFS date of 2016. Ecuador is currently served by two ageing submarine cable systems, the consortium Pan American (PAN-AM) which was launched in 1999, and the Telefonica-owned South America-1 (SAm-1) cable, in operation since 2001.
Mid Europa eyes sale of Bite
Private equity fund manager Mid Europa Partners is looking to sell telecoms group Bite, which provides mobile services in Lithuania and Latvia, writes Finance Net, citing a report by Eversus.lt. According to unnamed sources, a sale of the company could take place early next year, with Sweden?s Tele2 named as a potential buyer of the Bite group. In June it was reported that Mid Europa Partners had enlisted Goldman Sachs to carry out a strategic review of Bite. TeleGeography notes that Mid Europa has recently offloaded its stakes in T-Mobile Czech Republic (February 2014), SBB/Telemach Group (March 2013) and Orange Austria (January 2013). Other divested Mid Europa assets include: Aster of Poland (sold in September 2011), MobiFon (Romania, March 2005) and Oskar Mobile (Czech Republic, March 2005).
CANTV deploys over 2,900 free Wi-Fi sites
Venezuelan state-owned telco CANTV has deployed at least 2,903 Wi-Fi broadband internet access points under its nationwide free Wi-Fi project dubbed 'Wi-Fi para todos' (Wi-Fi for all), Telecompaper reports. The project, which stipulates the deployment of 5,774 Wi-Fi sites across the country, was launched in November 2013. The sites are in public areas as well as in universities and public schools.
Telus launches two Cisco powered cloud services
In a press release, Canadian full-service telco Telus announced it is introducing two new solutions to enable Canadian businesses leverage cloud-based technology 'to improve how they communicate with their customers, employees and partners.' TELUS Cloud Collaboration provides businesses with access to a full suite of unified communications services, and TELUS Cloud Contact Centre offers a fully featured contact centre solution hosted in the cloud. Both products are powered by the Cisco Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS), an end-to-end solution that enables highly secure, reliable and scalable 'as-a-service' offerings of Cisco Collaboration technologies. 'For Canadian businesses looking for a competitive edge, cloud-based services can optimise employee productivity and improve customer service, while reducing technology expenditures,' said Peter Green, president of Telus Business Solutions, adding that the new cloud offerings 'eliminate the financial barriers to adopting best-in-class solutions, putting them within reach of businesses of any size.'
Vodafone Ghana will not block Expresso calls
Haris Broumidis, chief executive officer of Vodafone Ghana, has revealed that his company has no immediate plans to terminate its existing interconnection agreement with rival Expresso over its inability to honour its financial obligations, and will instead negotiate with the smaller operator on how to deal with the matter. ?In our case Vodafone Ghana is not considering cutting Expresso [off]. We will work with them to see how we will reach an amicable solution regarding what they owe us because of the incoming traffic?, the executive disclosed to Citi FM Online.*TeleGeography notes that, MTN Ghana and Airtel have both blocked incoming calls from Expresso?s networks due to the cellco?s inability to settle its debts. Last week telecoms watchdog the National Communications Authority (NCA) took steps to mediate the dispute between the parties, and while the regulator disclosed that it is still monitoring the issue, and will take the appropriate action after a comprehensive review of the situation, it had reminded Expresso?s subscribers that, if they so wish, they can make use of mobile number portability (MNP) and switch to another provider.
Orange Group refutes Swaziland launch claims
Sebastien Crozier, CEO of Orange Group's international development unit Orange Horizons, has refuted claims that the group is planning to launch a mobile network in Swaziland, IT Web Africa reports. The executive explained: ?We have planned for the beginning of next year to extend our coverage of the online store because there is a customer union between Swaziland, Botswana and Namibia ? and probably because some people have heard we are going to extend the coverage of the delivery in Swaziland they thought Orange will set a new mobile operator in the country?. According to Crozier, Orange will provide online services and sell devices and SIM cards for people travelling to Europe, Botswana, Cote d'Ivoire and other African countries. *TeleGeography notes that one international telecoms firm that is interested in Swaziland is Vietnam's Viettel Group. Last month Swaziland Communications Commission (SCC) director Stan Motsa confirmed that the company had applied for a mobile concession under the ?Swazi Vitel? name. The start-up was also said to be backed by ?Mozambican business people?.

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