Government pays Mauritius Telecom USD100M to connect Rodriguez Island

Mauritius Telecom has won the Government's call for bids to link the 550km distant Rodriguez Island (population ~41,000) with submarine fibre connectivity.

South Africa to invest about $150m in rural broadband

SA's annual budget this year includes SA Rand 1.9billion for pilot broadband projects in 8 municipalities which will include connecting rural schools. The government said 6 135 goverment institutions and 4 983 schools had already been connected to the Internet.

Senegal Government requested to minimise ISP license fees

Senegal's ICT professional society, OPTIC, has said the government is restricting market entry for internet providers by charging high license fees. Three new ISPs were recently approved with minimum bids set at CFA 100million (about USD 160,000 USD).

Number portability for Tanzania

To improve the competitive environment Tanzania is implementing number portability between mobile operators in March 2017.

Cameroon to launch an MVNO

Swiss-based internet provider YooMee Africa's Cameroon subsidiary has formed a joint venture with the incumbent state owned operator Camtel to set up a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) by mid 2017.

600 government owned towers to be deployed in Zimbabwe

The Government of Zimbabwe has announced that it will spend USD 250m from the Universal Service Fund to deploy 600 towers, mainly in rural areas, for use by telecom operators. The project is being managed by the national regulator, Potraz. 

5 West African States aim for no roaming charges by end of March

Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire, Guinea, Mali, Senegal and Togo have all now agreed to that no roaming fees will be charged by operators when their customers travel between these countries. The agreement, which was announced late last year, is to be in place by March 31 2017, although further details have not been made public.

At the same time, the ECOWAS Commission, of which these countries are all member states, is in the process of drawing up a roadmap and model regulations for eliminating roaming fees from all of West Africa. A similar initiative is under way in East Africa.

New FTTH provider in Gabon

French Group Vivendi Africa (GVA) has been given a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband licence in Gabon. Sister company Canal Plus will likely be providing content.