Archive for the ‘Telekoms & Providers’ Category

source: BOPA
25 February, 2009

GABORONE – The Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) management is not in an agreement with the government’s formula used to calculate defined benefits for the former Department of Posts and Telegraphs employees.

In 1980, BTC employed former government employees who transferred to the corporation from the Former Department of Posts and Telegraphs.

These were members of a defined benefit plan and opted not to become members of the BTC Staff Pension Fund, which is a defined contribution plan.

The Auditor General’s report for the financial year ending in March states that the BTC set aside 14 per cent of [continue reading]

source: BOPA
24 February, 2009

GABORONE – The recent network problem experienced by mobile phone provider, Orange, has adversely affected small businesses that sell airtime.

One of the cutomers, Mr Thato Omphile who is earning a living by selling scratch cards and quick recharges says his business has been affected by this problem, adding that quick recharge which used to make a lot of money was the most affected.

Mr Omphile said he started experiencing a problem in December saying that Orange did not notify them of the problem on time, as he would not have spent much on Orange airtime.

“My customers prefer quick recharge to scratch cards, as a result it is difficult for one to credit customers’ accounts through quick recharge hence I did not make profit.” He says he has not been able to pay his bills and buy food the way he used to as he does not make profit anymore.

“I used to sell P300 Orange airtime in one day, now I sell only P120 a day,” he said.

Bangwe Mangeu who also earns a living by selling airtime says his business has been affected as well, adding that he [continue reading]

source: BOPA
23 February, 2009

MAUBELO – Rural telecommunications is a basic need for every Motswana and a catalyst for socio-economic development, says the Minister of Communications, Science and Technology, Mrs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi.

Launching Nteletsa II at Maubelo Kgotla in Kgalagadi South Mrs Venson-Moitoi said the idea was to provide infrastructure for potential economic activity outside the major population centres and bring rural communities into the mainstream of society.

She told Maubelo residents that government had spent more that P211 million during Nteletsa I to provide telecommunications infrastructure to 235 villages across Central, Kweneng, North east, South East and Southern districts.

Despite the world economic crisis, she said government had decided that Nteletsa II project, which will cost cost more than P300 million, will be implemented during NDP10.

Minister Venson-Moitoi said during the first phase of the project, dubbed Nteletsa I, which was [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Sunday Standard Reporter
07.02.2009 12:31:51 P

Fierce competition is looming within the mobile telephone industry as the Botswana Telecommunication Authority (BTA) is mulling over plans which will enable subscribers to switch to any mobile operator without loosing their numbers.
An official at BTA confirmed that the issue of existing subscribers having to switch to any mobile operator of their choice without loosing their numbers has been a heated one and was raised at a number of meetings.

“The issue was raised on several occasions, especially during the numbering meetings and was supposed to have been referred to the international governing body (The International Telecommunication Union) for advise,” a source said Friday, adding that technical people are the ones who are supposed to know how far the case is and when it is expected to start to be implemented.
Attempts to get hold of senior technical people at BTA on Friday were futile as they were said to be either on half-day or on leave.

The new development, if successful, would put on [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
by Gowenius Toka
11.02.2009 12:24:06 A

In a bid to improve service delivery and to meet the set customer service standards, the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs has joined hands with a local mobile network, Mascom, to expedite the distribution of citizen identity cards and passports to the applicants, irrespective of the localities from where they filed their applications.

An official launch of the project is scheduled for the end of the week.

Lebogang Bok, Principal Public Relations Officer at the Ministry, confirmed this and said, “We intend that, as of now, the focus will mainly be on Omang and passports.”

“What will happen,” she said, “is that once a person’s ID or passport is ready, the system will automatically send out an SMS text message notifying the concerned applicant so that, consequently, there will be no need for frequent and, sometimes, costly visits to the relevant offices.”

It is hoped that the system would go a long way towards reducing the [continue reading]

source: IOL
Staff Writer
February 09 2009 at 11:21AM

Telkom is to spend R22-million across 150 Western Cape schools by the end of next year to boost pupils’ access to “high-speed, broadband Internet connectivity”, says the Western Cape Education Department.

The department says 98.4 percent of schools in the Western Cape are connected to the Internet, but that “in many cases” this is for email for administrative use, and not for teaching and learning.

Telkom’s investment is to enable pupils at the 150 selected schools to use the Internet for learning, the province’s head of education, Ron Swartz, said at the project’s launch in Grassy Park on Friday.

The project launch coincided with the opening of a Telkom Internet Cafe – the first of its kind in the Western Cape – at the Grassy Park High School.

Swartz said Telkom had committed itself to [continue reading]

4 February 2009

The South African subsidiary of UK-based telecoms group BT has been awarded both individual electronic communications services (i-ECS) and electronic communication network services (i-ECNS) licences, paving the way for the company to broaden the range of networked IT services it provides in the country.

The i-ECNS licence provides similar provisioning rights as presently held by local telecommunications incumbents and the major local mobile operators.

“Awarding of the licences represents another milestone for BT in South Africa,” BT South Africa country manager Keith Matthews said in a statement this week.

“The new licences will allow us to further expand our portfolio and offer a comprehensive set of networked IT services to our existing and [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

The launch of be Mobile last April signalled rising growth expectations for Botswana’s telecommunication industry, according to Business Monitor International (BMI), which is facilitated by the British global market researcher,

The launch of be Mobile by the Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC) places Botswana ahead of South Africa and Nigeria to take position one in tele-density in the fourth quarter of 2008, despite the country’s small population.

BMI’s latest report on the telecoms markets of East and Southern Africa assesses the current state of development facing the region’s mobile, fixed-line and Internet communications sectors.

In 2007, the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) awarded BTC a neutral licence, opening doors for the parastatal to go into the small but lucrative mobile phone industry.The licences were also extended to [continue reading]

11 December 2008

Bermuda-based international satellite service provider Intelsat is partnering with a South African investor group led by Convergence Partners to build and launch a new satellite that will be ideally positioned to serve the African continent.

The satellite, to be called Intelsat New Dawn, will feature a payload optimised to deliver wireless backhaul, broadband and television programming to the continent, and is expected to enter service in early 2011.

Africa has been one of the fastest growing regions for fixed satellite services in recent years, fuelled by demand for critical infrastructure from communications providers and [continue reading]

source: BOPA
04 December, 2008

PARLIAMENT – Parliament looks set to give government the green light to privatise the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) This was after the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (Transition) Bill was on Tuesday passed to the committee stage of the parliamentary debate.

However, despite the Bill proceeding to the next stage, opposition MPs opposed it. MPs Otsweletse Moupo, Mr Gordon Mokgwathi and Mr Mephato Reatile were critical of it.

Mr Moupo, MP of Gaborone West North said he opposed the Bill on the basis that privatizing BTC may bring social costs such as job losses and expensive rates for the service as the investors would be looking at cutting losses and maximizing profit.

“Privatizing BTC would bring loss of jobs. When we privatize BTC there is a likelihood that very few Batswana would benefit. Most of them don’t have money to buy shares,” he said.

The Leader of opposition also said the idea advanced by ruling party MPs that the BTC would become more efficient if it could be [continue reading]

source: Mmegi
Staff Writer

With a due diligence and transaction structure exercise carried out by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) now completed, the privatisation of the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) is gathering steam.

“This week marked a major milestone with the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (Transition) Bill (reaching second reading) in Parliament,” said the CEO of the Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA), Joshua Galeforolwe, at a press conference last Friday.

“This bill should provide for the conversion of BTC from a statutory corporation to a public company as well as provide for the allotment of shares for purchase by a Strategic Equity Partner (SEP).

“The privatisation of BTC will see the introduction of a first tier telecommunications company that will allow for [continue reading]

7 November 2008

Telkom has announced the sale of a 15% stake in cellular operator Vodacom, worth R22.5-billion, to multinational cellular operator Vodafone, which will also result in Vodacom becoming one of the largest South African companies listed on the JSE.

The transaction will see Vodafone’s share in Vodacom increased from 50% to 65%, giving the UK-based cellular operator full control of South Africa’s largest cellular operator by subscriber numbers.

Telkom will distribute its remaining 35% stake in Vodacom to its own shareholders by way of an unbundling process, and investors will for the first time have direct [continue reading]

source: Standay Standard
05.11.2008 10:05:46 P

The Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) on Friday launched a new product in the market that is geared towards alerting the market that there is indeed a new player.

Thapelo Lippe, the new Chief Executive Officer for the telecommunications parastatal, told Sunday Standard that the bundle offer will comprise wireless voice, data and broadband speed at a an ‘extremely affordable price to the market’.
“We want to let the market know that there is another player in the market. You just have to watch this space,” he warned.

The introductory bundle at 512 kb/second will take competition to Orange and Mascom that already offer similar products since the fully liberalisation of the market last year. The consumers will be given an opportunity to choose from three packages with the cheapest being classic product at P499 a month.

It has up to 512 Kbps download speed, 3 Gb monthly user [continue reading]

source: Mmegi

FRANCISTOWN: The story of the mobile phone sector in Botswana bears all the hallmarks of modest beginnings and humble expectations.

Growth projections over ten years were put at a customer base of merely 100, 000 for the whole sector. But now since its inception in 1998, the mobile phone customer base is beyond everyone’s wildest dreams at 1.6 million.

But the CEO of Mascom, Jose Vieira Couceiro, is quick to point out that the figure reflects the number of sim cards in circulation and that some customers hold two or more sim cards, rather than the number of subscribers.

Couceiro was speaking at his company’s 10th anniversary dinner at Marang Motel here on Saturday. He said his company decided to commemorate the anniversary not only in Gaborone, but also in [continue reading]

source: BOPA
22 October, 2008

FRANCISTOWN – Mascom has entered into an agreement of preferential regional roaming rates with a South African services network provider, MTN, for both data and normal voice services.

The agreement, which went into effect in March this year, will according to Mascom’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr Jose Couceiro, give the company’s customers, the benefit of attractive roaming rates for both data and normal services.

Mr Couceiro assured Mascom’s customers, on Saturday in Francistown during their 10th anniversary celebrations, that his company intended to continue with the advancement of mobile communication technology in Botswana.

Mr Couceiro said over the past 10 years of its existence, Mascom maintained a tradition of excellence marked by numerous milestones in the history of telecommunication in the country. He said his company was the first, and the only Botswana mobile network operator to have introduced the third generation telecommunications known as UMTS/HSDPA or 3G.

“With the introduction of this [continue reading]