Nytex

In Brief: Tigo, Expresso in talks to acquire 4G licences in Senegal 

The operators Tigo and Expresso are in talks with the Senegal regulator ARTP about obtaining 4G licences, after incumbent Sonatel was given spectrum to offer LTE.The news was announced by Senegal's president at a ceremony to open the Atos digital services centre. Sonatel paid CAF 32 billion for the 4G licence, the price set by the ARTP.The company said it plans to launch the 4G services at the end of July.

***Safaricom, Airtel Kenya and Orange Kenya will pay KES 2.5 billion each for the 4G spectrum licence fee that the Communications Authority of Kenya (CA) has said it will start issuing in July. The CA director-general said that the technical committee has approved the issuance of the licences, but management is still awaiting the final go-ahead from the board. Besides paying the licence fees, the three operators will also be required to share at least 30 percent of the 4G spectrum with smaller operators. The CA director said compelling the operators to share 30 percent of the spectrum is aimed at giving smaller operators such as MVNOs and tier-two infrastructure providers such as Liquid Telecom, Jamii and Wananchi Group, access to the limited resource at a lower fee.

***Qualcomm says that it has filed a complaint against China's Meizu alleging that the company is using its patents without a license. The complaint requests rulings that the terms of a patent license offered by Qualcomm to Meizu comply with China's Anti-Monopoly Law. The complaint also seeks a ruling that the offered patent license terms should form the basis for a patent license with Meizu for Qualcomm's technologies.Qualcomm says that it has negotiated extensively with Meizu to sign a patent license agreement, but that Meizu has been unwilling to negotiate in good faith.Qualcomm's technologies are at the heart of all mobile devices. Meizu is choosing to use these technologies without a license, which is not only unlawful, but is unfair to other licenseesMore than 100 other companies have already accepted the rectification plan terms, including the largest Chinese mobile device suppliers.

***Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris has expressed interest in investing in Brazil's Oi, which filed for bankruptcy protection last week after failing to reach a deal with creditors.
Sawiris said that Oi will have great potential once it has restructured its debt, strengthened its financial position, and put a strategic plan in place.Oi filed for judicial reorganisation, as it is known in Brazil, to protect its operations while it finds a way to address multiple challenges, including the maturity schedule of its debts, Brazil's economic situation, and the threat to company assets, which could be frozen through legal proceedings.
He would be interested in investing provided he was given exclusivity for talks, he said.
Sawiris would also be open to working with LetterOne (L1) Technology.

***The underperforming Brazilian MVNO market is expected to witness the launch of a new player before the end of the year, in the form of pre-paid virtual operator Veek. The company founder Alberto Blanco shared the company’s strategy, which will essentially see users receive credit for subscriber referrals. It is understood that Veek will piggyback on the TIM Participacoes (TIM Brasil) network, via a mobile virtual network enabler (MVNE) arrangement with Surf Telecom. Company founder Blanco boasts previous experience in the telecoms sector: he was the man in charge of Oi’s rebranding exercise at the turn of the millennium.