Historic Ethiopia Telecoms deal wins Best Utilities Project at World Bank Partnerships Awards

27 May 2022

A deal involving Ethiopia Telecoms has been awarded Best Utilities Project at the World Bank Partnerships Awards following a successful bid to obtain the first telecommunication licence ever awarded to a private operator in Ethiopia’s history. 

The Consortium was led by Kenya’s Safaricom, the region’s leading telecommunications provider and included Vodafone, Vodacom, BII Plc and Sumitomo Corporation.

Following successfully winning the bid, the consortium has now incorporated its new subsidiary, Safaricom Telecommunications Ethiopia, which will roll out its new network and deliver digital transformation in line with the government of Ethiopia’s vision.

Find out more

Protecting NGO staff with tracking and communications

13 May 2022

By James Trevelyan, senior vice president, enterprise and emerging markets at Speedcast

Working for non-governmental organisations (NGOs) can be dangerous. Charities operating across Africa dedicate themselves to saving lives and supporting communities, often amidst conflict zones, famines and epidemics. Despite travel restrictions brought about by the pandemic, 484 aid workers were victims of major attacks in 2020, according to a 2021 Humanitarian Outcomes report.

For volunteers to do their jobs effectively and safely, they need access to a reliable communications infrastructure. However, this is not always easy when charities are working in locations that are often beyond the reach of terrestrial networks. From satellite phones and cellular connections to emergency vehicle and personnel tracking, staying connected is critical for the safety of personnel. A satellite connection that enables communications and real-time Internet of Things (IoT) data transfer when in a rural or disaster-stricken area is key to making sure staff and people on the ground remain informed.

Find out more

Namibia’s telcos go for network sharing

13 May 2022

Namibia’s telecom market has developed strongly since the second mobile network operator was licenced in 2006, thereby introducing effective competition between MTC Telecom Namibia and Paratus Telecom.

The government’s Broadband Policy aims to provide 95% population coverage by 2024, supported by the efforts of telcos including Paratus Telecom which continue to invest in their own extensive network objectives.

Mobile network coverage has increased sharply in recent years. By the beginning of 2021, 3G infrastructure provided 89% population coverage while LTE infrastructure provided 79% coverage (compared to only 40% a year earlier). Developments with 5G have been delayed, partly due to unsubstantiated public concerns over health implications of the technology which caused the government to order an environmental assessment of 5G in mid-2020. Nevertheless, the government has requested the regulator to speed up its 5G development strategy.

Find out more
Q&A

13 May 2022

Richard Jacklin, director of sales, ViaLite

Richard Jacklin, director of sales, ViaLite

What was your big career break?

When I became a ghostbuster and I don’t really believe in ghosts! My career was going along quite nicely; apprenticeship, degree, graduate engineering, engineering manager etc., probably similar path to many folks. One night I was watching television and a programme called “Most Haunted”, an entertainment show where ghost hunters scare themselves stupid in a spooky house, and they showed these bright white sparks being captured on video. At that time I was working on a project for a very large US automobile company and I’d invented a simple device that measured negative ion fields from electric discharge – a spark. The available negative ion detector units on the market at the time were priced at approximately $1,000, but I could produce and sell a unit for $50. I phoned up a few ghost clubs and bingo, I had the start of my own business. I ran this business for about 3 years and covered all aspects of marketing, sales, production, new product development, logistics, shipping – basically everything. 

Find out more