Africa is connected by 17 international cables, 12 of which connect Sub-Saharan Africa to the world. However, the East African seaboard has only three cables that connect directly to the rest of the world. On 18 April,the Africa-1 cable announced that it had signed up some key telcos.These included PCCW,MTN Group,Saudi Telecom Company, Telecom Egypt and Telkom South Africa. Others are likely to be announced as the plans firm up. Telkom apparently does not have much capacity left on EASSy and wants to get more for the future.The cable will go from South Africa to Egypt with branches off to Djibouti (to meet the cables landing there),Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.The latter allows a connection into China. Thus far the cable is talking of landing in Tanzania and Kenya along the way on the east coast.

*** The director of Senegal’s Regulation Authority of Post and Telecoms (Autorite de Regulation des Telecoms et des Postes, ARTP), has given the country’s telecoms operators – Orange Senegal,Tigo Senegal and Sudatel Senegal(Expresso)–six months to complete a mandatory identification of all mobile telecoms subscribers.Industry players have six months to comply he said,noting that to help ensure the success of the verification process for identifying users,all operators will be given access to government-held national identity files.

***The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has warned all mobile network operators in the country to comply with its directive of dedicating a short code, 2442, for use by subscribers to opt-in to a database that would enable them to register their numbers against unsolicited messages. The Executive Vice Chairman of the commission said that the directive was part of ongoing efforts by the commission to ensure improved quality of service to consumers in the country, and task operators to improve on quality of service, customer awareness creation and stopping unsolicited SMS.

***Cyprus Telecommunications Authority (Cyta) has denied reports that it is looking to sell off its Greek division Cyta Hellas. A press release stated: ‘Cyta Hellas adds strength to the overall value of Cyta group and is an investment with strategic features in the Greek telecommunications market.’ It went on to add that ‘there is no suggestion of interest in Cyta Hellas and no procedure [has been] carried out’. The group says it is already working on a new five-year business plan for Cyta Hellas and is preparing to launch a number of new services, though it did not give further details.Rumours had circulated saying that Cyta was looking to offload its Greek unit, with Athens-based fixed and mobile operator Wind Hellas linked as a potential buyer. It is reported that the management of state-owned Cyta was keen to sell the Greek broadband provider and MVNO, which has been dragging down the parent company’s financial results.

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