Timor-Leste advances buyout of Oi’s Timor Telecom shares

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.

Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.

Sierra Leone counts down to introduction of new payment platform

Tomorrow will see a potentially significant development for the Sierra Leonean economy as the Bank of Sierra Leone officially launches the National Payment Switch, a system that, it is hoped, will move the country closer to achieving the objective of building a cashless economy.

The switch is a platform that facilitates interconnection and interoperability between the payment channels of various players including commercial banks, microfinance institutions, mobile money operators and fintechs.

The announcement of the switch was made on 19April, at the Sam Bangura Building in Freetown. However, the official launch will be on 29 April at the Bank of Sierra Leone recreation complex in Freetown.

According to the Acting Bank Governor at the Bank of Sierra Leone, Dr Ibrahim L Stevens, quoted in the Concord Times, “All debit and credit cards currently being used would be used on the National Switch and, once it goes live, it will ensure direct transactions between accounts of different banks, direct transactions between wallets of different mobile money operators and bank accounts and settlement of funds for transactions across schemes and between schemes and banks.”

The National Payment Switch, which will be owned and managed by the Bank of Sierra Leone, will roll out in three phases, the first involving ATMs and POS. The second will interoperate mobile money operators, other fintechs and bank accounts, allowing customers to make instant payments using any of these facilities from any location. Phase three focuses on international payments.

The switch will also make provision for buyers and sellers of financial products and services to make transactions across various channels.

If all goes well, it is hoped that, as well as users, the National Revenue Authority will benefit from the switch through more automated revenue collection, while banks and other payment systems will reduce costs and improve security.


Flō Networks confirms purchase of ATC Holding Fibra México

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.

Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.

Cameroon orders operators to fix up

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.

Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.

ECTA calls on the European Commission to think again


The European Competitive Telecommunications Association (ecta) instructed law firm Jones Day to look into the Draft Recommendation on the regulatory promotion of Gigabit connectivity released by the European Commission on 23 February 2023 and finds the analysis supports ecta’s warning that it violates the provisions and principles in the European Electronic Communications Code.

The analysis provided by Jones Day concluded that it:

  • restricts the discretionary powers of National Regulatory Authorities (NRAs) to impose price control obligations, in favour of wholesale price flexibility for SMP ( significant market power) operators,
  • restricts the discretionary powers of NRAs in deciding to impose other remedies than access to civil engineering infrastructure, in a way which provides a higher priority to access to civil engineering infrastructure over other remedies compared to what is foreseen by Art. 72 and Art. 73 of the EECC,
  • encourages the non-imposition of regulated wholesale price control obligations in low-populated areas, and
  • promotes wholesale price increases in the context of copper switch-off.

In light of the findings ecta calls on the Commission to consider repealing the 2010 NGA and 2013 NDCM Recommendations and withdrawing the Draft Recommendation.

ecta Director General Luc Hindryckx is quoted as saying “The EECC has determined the framework, and the experience of the NRAs is suitable and sufficient to address the objectively different situations existing within the different Member States. It is therefore no longer necessary to issue a Recommendation.”

The full legal analysis is available here.

Research claims FTTH reduces internet CO2 emissions by a third


The global Sustainability Survey, conducted by the FTTH Council Global Alliance (FCGA) has examined environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategies amongst network operators, service providers, and vendors across five geographical regions, Europe, Latin America (LATAM), North America and Middle East and North Africa (MENA), and Asia Pacific.

It found that 81% of European respondents already have an ESG / CSR strategy, followed by LATAM (45%), North America and MENA (both at 16%), and Asia Pacific (15%).

The survey referenced a Boston Consulting Group report that estimated that the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector is responsible for up to 4% of all global emissions—twice the levels of the aviation industry.

Research conducted for the sustainability survey by market research firm RVA, LLC and the Fiber Broadband Association (FBA) find that fibre consumes less energy than other broadband technologies and as a result Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) connectivity directly reduces carbon output, leading to a 34% reduction in internet CO2 emissions.

Gary Bolton, President of the Fiber Broadband Association said of this finding, “Fibre is the only way to simultaneously deliver high-speed, reliable internet services and support ESG and CSR goals, green energy, less waste, and the greater good of society.”

Other findings of the sustainability survey include:

  • Supporting customer Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction programs through the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) methodology enables businesses to identify sustainability enhancements and develop GHG impact estimates for early-stage innovation programs.
  • Most companies are working on plans to achieve at least a 40% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030, with long-term goals of net zero by 2040.

The FTTH Council Global Alliance comprises six regional FTTH Councils with the common goal to accelerate fibre broadband adoption. The councils include the Digital Council Africa, Fibre Broadband Association, Fibre Broadband Association LATAM Chapter, Fibre Connect Council MENA, FTTH Council Asia Pacific, and FTTH Council Europe.

Kholoud Aldorgham, Director General for the Fibre Connect Council MENA said “The telecommunications sector has a significant role to play in reducing carbon emissions and achieving sustainability goals. Fibre optic technology is one of the most sustainable broadband technologies available today. Not only does it consume less energy, but it also has a longer lifespan than other technologies, which reduces the amount of waste generated.” He added that the MENA region had work to do on developing sustainable practices in telecoms but that investment in the deployment of fibre optic networks would be a step in the right direction.

CEO of the FTTH Council Africa, Juanita Clark, is a judge for the annual World Communication Awards which include a sustainability category which will be looking for CSP’s own sustainability initiatives and how they are enabling customers to reduce carbon emissions. Download the categories brochure to find out more.

CMI: At the Forefront of Addressing the Needs of Enterprises with Latest Technologies


Communications service providers across the world are adopting strategies to grow revenue from the enterprise segment as they play a crucial role in the digital transformation of enterprises. The ever-increasing 5G ecosystem helps them provide reliable and ultra-high-speed networks while allowing them to offer innovative use cases to businesses to improve productivity, operational efficiency and customer experience.

China Mobile International (CMI), one of the leading information service providers in the world, is at the forefront of providing a superior experience for the B2B digital service. It has already built more than one million 5G base stations and its number of 5G users has ranked top in China. In addition, the service provider has also built a large number of 5G industry applications to address the needs of enterprises from different business verticals.

“CMI will establish a new information service system of “5G + computing network + capability service” to provide quality services of “Intelligent Global Connectivity” to global customers. CMI will also transfer its excellent experience in China to global markets to promote 5G+ capabilities, including 5G industry solutions (smart factories and smart ports), 5G application capabilities such as OneCyber, 5G platform services and 5G consulting, and information services,” explains Harley Tan, general manager of the Product Management Department of China Mobile International.

 [embedded content]

Further, with respect to the computing network, cloud and network integration will be the key investment direction in the next two to three years. “Global traffic will become decentralized, and CMI’s global network will evolve towards computing network, achieving leapfrog development. For example, we will continue to expand terrestrial cable resources, build global data centers, improve core data center capabilities, and continuously cultivate potentials to optimize the overall computing network,” added Harley Tan.

CMI is also planning to build cloud-network integration service capabilities, further promote 5G+ cooperation, develop ecosystems, and build capabilities such as big data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), blockchain, and security to support the intelligent digital transformation of the whole society.

Differentiated network capabilities of CMI 

As digital pervasiveness continues to grow, there is an urgent need to build an advanced ICT infrastructure. As a global digital player, CMI will build an ultra-broadband all-optical high-speed network over the next ten years. This network will cover 87 countries and regions around the world, enabling fast access to 138 cities and 230 PoPs.

“CMI is capable of providing an experience featuring ultra-large capacity, ultra-low latency, and high security and reliability for industry digital connections around the world, enabling every region, enterprise, and individual to enjoy the dividends of digital economy development,” says Harley Tan.

The growing consumption of digital services coupled with the popularity of several high-bandwidth consuming applications means that service providers are constantly under pressure to increase the network capacity. CMI has built a future-oriented ultra-broadband network in the Southeast Asia region as the traffic in the region touched 467 Tbps, with a growth rate of over 40%. It will use the ultra-high-speed 400G technology, with the single fiber capability reaching 100 Tbps, to meet the future requirements of massive cross-border data transfer.

Apart from this, large, medium and small businesses can benefit from the networks with ultra-low latency. “CMI is dedicated to building low-latency connections, providing better service experience for enterprises moving to the cloud, and building high-quality networks. CMI adopts the advanced OXC all-optical networks, which allow flexible selection between different routes and enable end-to-end latency visibility, meeting the ultra-low latency connection requirements of the region,” adds Harley Tan.

The third key area is ensuring security and reliability for businesses during their digital transformation process and migration to the cloud. “More than 90% of the banking, finance, government, and manufacturing customers regard high security and reliability as the primary indicators of private data lines. CMI uses advanced network protection mechanisms and disaster recovery and backup policies to protect enterprises’ core data,” says Harley Tan.

In Conclusion

As the digital transformation picks up in all geographies, the enterprise market offers massive growth opportunities to the CSPs. The service providers will do well to adopt strategies used by CMI in addressing the needs of the businesses.

Continuous Improvement in Fiber Operations: Enhancing Customer Experience and Efficiency

This Industry Viewpoint was authored by Mandeep S Kwatra of Prodapt

As fiber operators fiercely compete for the top spot, they must constantly improve their operations while maintaining costs and ensuring seamless customer service. However, 60% of all corporate six sigma initiatives fail to deliver lasting results. We observed that many fiber operators still rely on traditional operations improvement activities performed on a one-time or on-demand basis translating to … [visit site to read more]

Funding announced for African e-commerce and fintech initiatives

The African Development Fund and the Smart Africa Alliance have jointly launched a US$1.5 million project to streamline digital trade and e-commerce policies across 10 African countries.

The Institutional Support for Digital Payments and e-Commerce Policies for Cross-Border Trade (IDECT) Project, as it is known, will evaluate policy gaps in the digital trade and e-commerce ecosystems of Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Ghana, Liberia, Uganda, South Sudan, Zimbabwe, the Republic of Congo, São Tomé and Príncipe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The project will aim to drive the implementation of regional training and capacity-building programmes focusing on cross-border e-payment and e-commerce for governments, the private sector, and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These programmes are expected to reach 600 participants, with 60% being women and youth.

Additionally, a certified gender-sensitive e-learning training programme addressing the unique challenges faced by women in digital trade and e-commerce will be developed and disseminated to 2,500 participants, of whom 60% will be women.

Smart Africa is a commitment from African heads of state and government to accelerate sustainable socio-economic development on the continent, ushering Africa into a knowledge economy through affordable access to broadband and usage of information and communications technologies. Since its founding in 2014, the Smart Africa Alliance has grown to include 36 African countries.

Meanwhile, the African Development Bank has signed a US$525,000 grant agreement with Africa Fintech Network (AFN), a continent-wide institution that unites African fintech leaders, organisations and stakeholders, for the setting-up of the Africa Fintech Hub, an online portal that will serve as a one-stop shop for all fintech activities in Africa.

This hub is a digital platform that will enable fintech associations across Africa to pool resources and knowledge, and strengthen relationships and partnerships, as well as showcase the work of fintech on the continent, including groups that are female-led or owned.

The Africa Digital Financial Inclusion Facility (ADFI), a pan-African initiative designed to catalyse digital financial inclusion throughout Africa, will provide funding and technical assistance to the Africa Fintech Network to host and manage the African Fintech Hub.

The ADFI is also supporting projects to enhance the deployment of digital micro-insurance to smallholder farmers in Nigeria, Zambia and Kenya, as well as to build capacity for cyber resilience and help to remove barriers to access to fintech services across the continent.


Fibre will underpin our 5G future, says ITS Technology Group at Connected North


At this year’s Connected North conference in Manchester, we caught up with Mark Weller, Director and Head of Infrastructure at ITS Technology Group, to discuss why fibre will play a key role in the UK’s ongoing 5G rollout

The UK’s 5G rollout is well underway, but as networks begin to densify new connectivity challenges will begin to emerge.

“The big challenge with 5G densification and making it work is fibre – it’s the backhaul,” explained Weller. “5G coverage will need to be at street level because the old masts sat on top of buildings are covering too much area. So, you’re looking at traffic lights, street furniture, shop fronts – and all of these will need fibre.”

Similar challenges can also be found with the advent of mobile edge computing; as new edge data centres begin to spring up closer to the customers needs, these too will require a fibre connection to deliver

“We heard in the keynote session this morning just how much the hyperscalers are driving demand for data centre connectivity,” he said. “We’re already deploying a lot of fibre to data centres in city clusters and this will only grow as more and more of our data sits in the cloud.”

[embedded content]

You can watch the full interview from the link above.

Also in the news:
Connected North 2023: The story in pictures
China Mobile mulls HKBN acquisition as it closes in on 1 billion subscribers
Smart lighting: Vodafone leans on IoT for energy savings