Mobile Industry News, Reading list

2008 November 18

Some Mobile Industry news from Africa.

Telkom sells stake in Vodacom and will launch it’s own Mobile network?

Telkom plans to become SA’s fifth cellular provider by the middle of next year, and is preparing to enter into talks with an existing mobile operator to roam on its network.

Speaking after presenting the company’s interim results for the six months to 30 September yesterday, CEO Reuben September told ITWeb the company would employ a strategy of “selective build” to add mobile capability to its existing infrastructure.”

Strangely ITweb is reporting “5th Mobile operator”, right now there are only 3. Virgin Mobile is an Virtual operator and has no license and Technically Neotel is using mobile technology (CDMA) however the license is actually for fixed services.  So why 5th? get the Read more

MTN launches Location based service for security

There is no question that everyone needs to know that their family and friends are safe because nowadays safety has become a basic need. In an effort to satisfy this need, the telecommunications group MTN has launched MTN WhereRU and MTN 2MyAid services to help consumers locate their loved ones and enable them to call for help in an emergency situation.”

Read more

Kenya makes second attempt at mobile number portability (MNP)

“Kenya’s long delayed plans for mobile number portability (MNP) seem to be back on track again after the regulator confirmed that the service would be launched next year. The plans, originally announced in 2004 were put on hold last year after the regulator cited the high costs of implementing the system.

According to a public notice carried in the local press today, Service Provider Number Portability (SPNP) will be implemented in Kenya  between March and September 2009.”

Well, it seems with MNP delays are common, MNP was originally announced in 2001 here in South Africa, but was only launched in 2005. A national MNP roll out is complex, the main issues being getting the mobile operators to agree to specifications. You often find incumbent operators try to influence the system and rules in their favour. I suppose it’s the fear that new entrants will capture market share. Read More
Are African operators ready for a surge in mobile broadband?

“A strategic business model can save African operators millions of Euros in network costs and is a powerful tool for operators to cash in on the popularity and growth of mobile broadband. A clear technical and commercial model is critical for making fully informed business decisions and ensuring broadband success, say the consultants at Omnitele.”

I previously wrote about mobile broadband and the changing value chain for mobile operators, i still think that in Africa mobile broadband has huge opportunity for growth. Read more

Cell C, To install SMS Anti-Spam platform

“South African mobile operator, Cell C has ordered an anti-spam service for its SMS platform from Airwide Solutions, along with a capacity boosting router. Cell C, South Africa’s smallest mobile phone operator, is making the investment to be better prepared for the festive season peaks in SMS traffic as well as to address the rising global prevalence of mobile spam.”

SMS spam is an issue that has been looked at many times by the GSMA as well as the GSM Africa Fraud Forum. This is a difficult one to nail down, since there are valid uses for mass SMS sending, such as campaigns competitions etc. Most WASPS (Wireless application service providers) allow their customers to send bulk messages, and customers can upload a spreadsheet of numbers or use the API’s. Read more.

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