Nytex

In Brief :Google digital training push in Africa reaches 500,000 

After saying in April that it will train 1 million young Africans in digital skills, Google announced it has reached the halfway mark six months on.For those unable to attend training sessions in person, the company launched the new Digital Skills Africa online portal accessible via desktop or mobile. The portal contains 89 online lessons on a wide range of digital subjects including web analytics, social media management and mobile marketing. It is available in English, French and, in the near future, Portuguese.The company noted that 500 million users across the continent will be able to access online services by 2020, though many still lack digital skills. Google said it has worked closely with different partners to provide face-to-face trainings.

***India's smart phone market grew by over 20% year on year in Q3 2016 as shipments broke the 30 million mark. Samsung's shipments grew in line with the market, meaning it continued to lead with a share of just over 20%. Shipments from local players Micromax, Intex and Lava all fell year on year, allowing Lenovo to move above Micromax and into second place for the first time, while Xiaomi took fourth place, more than doubling its Q2 2016 shipments.India has now clearly emerged as a growth opportunity for Xiaomi outside of its home market.Despite its smart phone shipments halving,Micromax held onto third place,but it is coming under pressure from Xiaomi and fifth-placed Lyf.

***Malaysian mobile network operator (MNO) DiGi Telecommunications has accepted the offer of new spectrum assignments from the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).DiGi has now made the MYR598.55 million (USD143 million) payment for the one-time fee component of its new frequencies, which comprise 2×5MHz in the 900MHz band and 2×20MHz in the 1800MHz band, and are valid for 15 years from 1 July 2017. With regards to funding for the initial charge, the company was cited as saying: ‘The board of directors of DiGi has decided to fund the one-time fee component mainly through its existing borrowing facilities and to maintain healthy net debt-to-EBITDA ratio below 1.0 time.’ Alongside the upfront fee, DiGi will also be required to pay an annual fee component of MYR51.48 million.

***Telia this week described Sweden's decision to cancel its upcoming 700-MHz auction as a step back for the digitalisation of the country."To meet the huge increase in demand it is essential to have access to more spectrum. Without, Sweden risks to get a negative trend with lower speeds in mobile networks, especially in rural areas where access to appropriate frequencies is limited," said the EVP and head of Sweden at Telia. Sweden decided in 2014 to free up the frequencies – which were being used by TV broadcasters – for other uses; it aimed to complete the process by 1 April 2017. The Swedish Post and Telecom Authority (PTS) planned to auction the spectrum to mobile operators in December.

***AT&T claims over pro-Google Fiber rules are false, says FCC
The Federal Communications Commission has intervened in a dispute between AT&T and Louisville, Kentucky, saying one of the former’s legal arguments is incorrect.

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