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In Brief:Vodafone, Afrimax extend partner market agreement 

The UK’s Vodafone Group and Afrimax Group, a 4G LTE operator in sub-Saharan Africa, have announced a new non-equity Partner Market agreement for Cameroon. The two companies will launch LTE data services under the ‘Vodafone Cameroon’ brand initially in the country’s two largest cities, Douala and Yaounde. The rollout for consumers and businesses will include the opening of Vodafone-branded retail stores and kiosks in key locations, supported by a network of distributors and resellers offering LTE handsets and devices. For SMEs, Vodafone Cameroon will also offer a range of connectivity products including LTE and Wi-Fi mobile data services, fixed internet and office solutions. Last month it was reported that the company had selected Chinese equipment vendor ZTE for the rollout of its end-to-end TD-LTE broadband infrastructure.The launch in Cameroon builds on the framework agreement between Vodafone and Afrimax, which was announced in November 2014 and has already seen the two companies partner to launch LTE services in Uganda and Zambia, as well as in Ghana, under the ‘Busy’ brand.

***The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has issued a USD50 million loan to Turk Telekom Group for its share of the SeaMeWe-5 submarine cable deployment project, which will link the Middle East with South East Asia and Western Europe when completed in November this year. The in-deployment 20,000km international link, with a design capacity of 24Tbps, will ultimately link a total of 17 countries – Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, UAE, Oman, Qatar, Yemen, Djibouti, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Turkey, Italy and France. In Turkey, the fibre-optic system will land at Marmaris, which is situated in the Mugla Province.

***Orange Egypt said it has decided not to apply for a 4G service licence due to terms and conditions of the proposed licence. In a statement, Orange confirmed its interest in investing in Egypt and in the 4G technology but said the quantity of spectrum currently availed does not allow it to launch a 4G service with the required level of quality according to international standards.

***The Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission (BTRC) has suspended its auction for providers bidding to implement the country’s mobile number portability (MNP) system, which was scheduled to be held on 28 September. A BTRC spokesperson said that ‘some procedures are yet to be completed which is unavoidable,’ adding that the regulator will fix a new date for the auction ‘within a short time’.

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