telecommunications

Internet Users on the Increase – ITU

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) says the number of Internet users will surpass two billion this year, approaching a third of the world population.

However, the ITU has called on the developing countries to step up access to the vital tool for economic growth.

It says of the 226 million new Internet users this year, 162 million will be from developing countries where growth rates are now higher.

Egypt Slammed Over New SMS Rules

Activists have warned that Egypt telecommunication regulator’s new rules for companies sending text messages to multiple cellphones will stifle efforts to mobilise voters ahead of upcoming parliamentary elections.

Reform groups in Egypt, as well as elsewhere in the region such as Iran, have increasingly relied on the Internet and cellphones to organise, mobilise and evade government harassment.

Mozambique Govt Suspends SMSes

Reports from Mozambique say Vodacom group subsidiary Vodacom Mozambique has suspended its clients' SMSing capabilities under orders of that country’s government.

The National Communications Institute of Mozambique (INCM), which regulates telecommunications, sent a letter to Vodacom Mozambique and state operator mCel ordering them to suspend SMSing.

A viral SMS campaign led to price hike riots in Maputo and nearby city Matola during which at least 13 people were killed in clashes between police and protesters.

Users Warned Against 'Haemorrhage' SMS

Kenya's telecommunications regulator, Communications Commission of Kenya (CCK), has told mobile phone users to ignore swirling rumours that receiving calls from some numbers appearing in red can cause brain haemorrhage.

A text message, which reads "Please inform all your friends and relatives soon, it's urgent" sent around ay and seen by AFP, says 27 people had died after they picked calls from numbers listed in the SMS.

BlackBerry Smartphones A ‘Spy Tool'

Dubai's police chief, Lieutenant-General Dahi Khalfan Tamim, says worries about spying by the United States, Israel and others helped push plans to limit BlackBerry services in the United Arab Emirates.

The comments by Tamim, posted on Friday on the al-Khaleej newspaper website, raise new doubts about a possible deal with BlackBerry maker Research in Motion Ltd before 11 October deadline.

Independent Phone System for Orange Farm

Tech4Africa Conference heard how hardware is being built cheaply in China to bypass big phone companies to help communities plug into the internet and utilise Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP).

Shuttleworth Foundation Telecommucations Fellow, Steve Song, was opening speaker at the Tech section discussing community network Voice over IP systems he’s constructed bypassing the usual telephone company control.

The State of ICTs in the South African NGO Sector

By Arthur Goldstuck : Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have always been portrayed as operating on a shoestring budget, and being stuck in the dark ages of telecommunications. The reality, however, is that NGOs are heavily focused on efficiency, and information and communications technologies make up a critical element of that efficiency.

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