Winner International Quality Crown UK Award – a Quest for Excellence.


The Ariel Technologies Group, with partner Matrex founder and Group Director Steve Oliver, received one of the most prestigious global quality awards Business Initiative Directions (BID), the founders of which annually conduct a thorough selection of candidates, companies and organizations to determine the best of the best in leading sectors of public life. A thorough selection of candidates, companies and organizations to determine the best of the best in leading sectors of public life.

This year's BID International Quality Convention took place at a Hotel in London, the Annual International Quality Crown awards were nomonated. The convention was led personally by José E. Prieto, President and CEO of BID, along with leading representatives of the business world and the diplomatic corps. The priority of further work is the use of the postulates of the system of general quality telecom management, which was appreciated at its true worth at the current international convention.

"By receiving this international award, we are fully committed to steadfastly adhere to the principles of continuous improvement in our sector and in our activities will continue promote a culture of quality within our training and telco sector." "The award of the International Quality Crown opens up new horizons for us, such as the opportunity to join a group of companies and organizations from 179 countries that are symbols of entrepreneurial success and leaders in promoting a culture of quality in their countries."

World queues to get a piece of Africa. Long range cost affective wireless and mobile communications is transfroming lives.


One of the brightest prospects for telecommunications companies in today’s market for networks and services in Africa is long range scalable communications. In the past, the continent has been largely ignored by global multinationals that built their markets in developed economies. Nevertheless, the demand for reliable and affordable services across Africa and a slowdown across the globe due to Covid19 and supply chain in all markets have made the continent the industry's new focus.

Exciting times for Africa.

Wireless networks, in particular, are seen as a cost-effective way to replace decaying fixed-line networks relatively cheaply and quickly. "The opportunities in Africa for telecommunications companies are now greater than ever." says Derek Friend, Group Chief Operations Officer.

"The demand for new-generation wireless telecommunications infrastructure in Africa is high, stemming from the low density of conventional wired telecommunications networks.

"This is the result of a low rate of urbanization, the demand for low cost effective communications versus the high cost of wire-line communication devices." He says.

Friend believes Africa is a fertile ground and green fields with abundant opportunities for both fixed-line and cellular network operators who have rushed to the continent to establish a foothold for their services. "African governments have opened their arms to these companies and are issuing licenses faster than ever. Many potential users view these developments as fuel for economic growth and are snapping up the services that networks operators offer."

The African market is unique and presents some exciting challenges.


"It is widely accepted that current levels of funding and investment are inadequate to meet Africa's need for a sustained telecommunications development programme," He says. "Much needs to be done to empower Africans to access the opportunities in this sector themselves.

Leaders in wireless solutions - a land of opportunity

Derek Friend says demand is vital for wireless telecommunications networks and services to be deployed on the continent.

Ariel, with over 20 years in the market, supporting telecoms and goverments and enterprises. Together with global strategic partnerships is well positioned, and has earned numerouse partner and innivation awards, leading the market in this field. This can be achieved by developing mechanisms to exchange information and expertise in telecommunications training, funding and financing. "As moves are made to bridge the digital divide, we need to ensure that the majority of the continent's people are not deprived of the benefits of modern communications because of the lack of affordable access to core information resources and cutting-edge technology."

Friend says the cost hurdle needs to be overcome by innovative thinking, a tradition in Africa where unconventional solutions to common problems abound.

"The concept of the African digital transformation is all about providing unique and relevant ICT solutions to seemingly insurmountable problems. For the telcos operating in Africa, the need to 'do things differently' is far greater than in Europe or Asia in which he spent time developing go to market strategies for leading telcos.

The time has come for a greater focus on Africa.

The time has come for everyone in telecoms to take some bold decisions in Africa.

Friend says Africa based network operators should realize the need for cooperation rather than perpetuating their Westernized culture of competition. "Telcos are always in competition with one another and African operators are currently spending millions of dollars building their long range and short range rural infrastructures. Bear in mind that many African countries have between three and five cellular operators, each competing for market share, with high price tags. .

"Each operator owning and building separate transmission masts, with the associated infrastructure - including air conditioners, generators and power supplies - is just duplicating cost.

"Telcos in Africa need to build and operate and most importantly maintain common transmission infrastructures and differentiate their services by focusing on unique offerings and content strategies, with with their investment in their staff and trained on global standards and advanced technology" says Friend.

He adds that a sophisticated telecommunications infrastructure will help in education and health services on the continent. "We need to prioritize projects such as telemedicine, telehealth, telecentres, tele-education, and generally promote universal access through terrestrial and satellite technology applications.

"Tele-medicine, for instance, even in its simplest form, can make available the expertise of well-resourced urban hospitals to clinics and secondary hospitals in rural areas.

"Through the training and education and application of tele-education and distance learning, much of the burden of physical infrastructure and its attendant maintenance can now be obviated. Though virtualization cloud related solutions This opens up new opportunities for developing academic and technology training institutions, extending learner networks and broadening the base of educational resources available to communities. "concluded Derek Friend, Group Chief Operations Officer of Ariel Technologies - Botswana. .

A Partnership for Africa's Development.


The acceptance of pan-African development initiatives, particularly Nepad – the New Partnership for Africa's Development,and the establishment of the African Union, will open the door to local Pan African companies to expand trade routes with other African countries, says Derek Friend Group, Chief Operations Officer, Ariel Technologies with head office on Botswana central for Africa trade.

While Nepad's objectives are long term, with the process due to unfold over the next 10 to 20 years, there are already signs of its success in the Telecommunications arena, says Derek Friend of Ariel Technologies, an African based company that addresses the sub-Saharan telecommunications market.

"Billions of over Dollars have been invested in African operations in mining, retail, telecoms and tourism developments pledged to African development programmes by African companies. They are keen to see a higher rate of development, because of the increased business it will bring them," He says. We are assiting with development of these stratgies with world class teams.

"Ariel Technologies which is a 100% locally owned and managed multinational, address this developing market, establishing foot holds in Africa at a considerable rate born out of joint ventures in key locations.

"Technology advanment in communications and connectivity have dramatically increased the continent's accessibility and increased the ability of many African companies to join the global community," He says.

Friend supports the view of John Ohiorhenuan of the UN Development Programme, UNDP Resident Representative, and United Nations Resident Coordinator, who says the private sector has an important role to play in the African renaissance, as the "job of African development is much too complex for Nepad to do on its own."

Rolling out and implementing secure wireless technology for investment returns.

Long range scalale wireless and cloud technologies are moving into the enterprise arena boosted by many advantages. It is the platform from which several converged data and voice services have been launched, and it provides increased mobility – and therefore productivity, which we have seen with work from home scenarios.

In this article, Derek Friend, Group Chief Operations Officer, Ariel Technologies, looks at wireless networking issues, emphasizing the returns on organizations’ investments in the technology. Undoubtedly, wireless and mobile technologies are increasingly positivly impacting corporate networks because they are popular replacements for traditional wired LANs.

Technologies such as long-range Wi-Fi – based on the IEEE 802.11(x) standard are growing in stature, particularly in new or “Greenfield” installations where enterprise-grade wireless is the technology of choice because the capital investment is seen as more enduring. Wireless connected mobile devices can be moved from building to building to accommodate growth and change - and there is no inconvenient cabling to deal with.


In addition, the cost savings in terms of changes, moves and staff additions - when compared to a wired environment - are significant, mainly if large numbers of users are involved.
Another positive aspect of wireless technology is its impact on productivity. Users are more mobile and utilize cost saving solutions such voice-over-data (VoIP or VoWIFI) telephones from office to office and boardroom to meeting room without losing the connection.

Even more impressive is the fact that cloud based single pane solutions, wireless networks are spawning new applications, such as location systems that can pinpoint people and locate assets, such as what we do in mining scenarios with hard-to-reach communications (underground or rural communication)
These systems use the wireless network access points for reference in much the same way as ground positioning systems (GPSs) use satellites for location identification.


With the African telecommunications authorities becoming more favourably disposed to voice transmissions over data lines, the scene is set for high-speed wireless networks to take wireless communications out of the office and onto the road.

This will be fueled by the increasing acceptance of wireless voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP.) Which is also gaining pace due to government deregulation.

The stakes are high as vendors look to “push” the new technologies into the marketplace and develop applications that will create new niche markets for themselves.


Wireless network infrastructures are characterized by a mixture of intelligent access points, thin access point/wireless switch architectures - some with centralized management and security capabilities - mesh routing in network backbones and other technologies and components.
In the case of new installations, it is therefore imperative that experts be consulted not only in terms of the design, managment and monitoring but also from security and performance perspectives.

Design and projevt management criteria must include careful placement of critical components, such as antennae, and on corrcet channels to avoid obstacles and reduce interference. It’s important to specify products with “automatic data rate fallback” functionality so that connectivity is optimized no matter how challenging the environment.


From a security standpoint, the first step is to incorporate a security rollout plan in the initial phases of the wireless network design. Today, more powerful, proactive security systems are required to meet the threats that face companies.

These include threats from within – from mobile employees, teleworkers, contractors, business partners and others with access to the network.

It also must address external threats, managing confidential information and compromising corporate assets or disrupting the business process.

Our team provide a proper evaluation ICT analysis strategy that will help secure all aspects of the wireless network, including all endpoint devices - be they personal computers, laptops or mobile devices – and devices across the network perimeter.
At the heart of adequate security, the strategy should be the essential requirement that every device runs a firewall and anti-virus protection before it is granted a connection to the network.


Finally, the concept of clearly defined user policies is essential as they are increasingly seen as part of the “good corporate governance” requirements as laid down by Sarbanes Oxley and the King frameworks directives.

Adherence to these guidelines and the implementation of training programmers to help network users optimize the business investment will go a long way to realizing the levels of return on investment that was envisaged in the minds of the wireless network designers from the outset.


25 February 2022
Ariel Technologies Botswanas, Partner Mascom launches 5G.

Botswana MNO Mascom has launched four 5G sites in the capital Gaborone as part of plans to roll out 111 sites across the country before year-end.

Mascom CEO Dzene Makhwade-Seboni said: "Connectivity drives digital socio-economic transformation, and with its unprecedented connectivity capabilities, 5G will take us and our society to a whole new level. It is bound to revolutionise industries and enhance customer experience and advance us as a nation towards the achievement of our Fourth Industrial Revolution ambitions."

She said the socio-economic benefits of 5G-enabled smart cities are immense. "Residential services, such as streetlights, traffic signals and security, which are part of the national broadband strategy, will benefit from 5G."

The country's Minister of Transport and Communications Thulagano Segokgo said 5G is part of accelerators, including Artificial Intelligence, cloud computing, big data and Internet of Things, used to catalyse the digital economy for the country.

"Digital transformation is broadening and mixing business boundaries in all sectors, which will increase both diversity and uncertainty. With 5Gs network design concepts and integrative capabilities, it's possible to combat these uncertainties."

Segokgo said the real benefit of 5G is the speed at which data is transferred throughout the network, allowing for wider use of connected devices.

Botswana's healthcare sector is one of several that stand to benefit from 5G, according to the Minister.

Advanced wireless communications and information processing technology can streamline medical diagnosis and better allocate and share medical resources and data. "As we move towards enablement of e-Health in Botswana, the health sector has significant 5G use cases and opportunities; many medical IT groups deal with surgical equipment that needs to be both connected and air-gapped from their networks. For security reasons."


The 15th Edition of eLearning Africa will be held from 11 to 13 May, 2022 in Kigali, the booming capital city of Rwanda.

Ariel Technologies is looking forward to contributing and meeting the 230 + guest speakers policy makers ICT telecoms in Africa ICT training, 70 countries across will be represented across Africa's and aims to be one of the largest conference on digital e learning and skills development and exhibition discussing ICT training and skills development, eLearning Africa is a network of experts, practitioners, policy makers and investors committed to the future of education and training.

It provides a diverse, content rich and thought-provoking programme, which includes pre-conference workshops and launches, plenary sessions, debates, discovery demos, knowledge factories and an annual Ministerial Round Table, as well as a large exhibition and demonstration area hosting leading international and African educational and technology organizations across sectors in Africa.


Derek Friend joins our Directors board.

We welcome Derek Friend to our Directors board as a Management Advisory Technical Consultant and as the group's Chief Operations Officer on secondment, after the recent positive transformation restructuring merge and acquisition of our partners in our region.
Previously as Chief Executive Officer at a multinational, that headed up the region that contributed to mobile handset distribution across the country.

He managed and stabilised the Africa based operations after an acquisition, set up new channels for sustainability, and managed the go-to-market (G.T.M) product development strategies.

Previously, V.P at Schnieder Electric, a French multinational providing energy and digital automation solutions for efficiency and sustainability, delivering data centre infrastructure and industrial solutions by combining energy technologies, real-time automation, software and service. It was mandated to develop the Africa Cloud and Service providers key data centre locations and managed power and U.P.S. sales across Africa and the EMEA product development strategies.

Before that, he was based in Australia as Head of Operations Digicel Mobile, PNG Australia, prepping the region after merging with AllcomACR for a successful merge with Telstra T.L.S: A.U. $1.33 billion. He implemented the G.T.M. product development and aligned the country's strategic communications and transition strategies, and readied the company for standardising connectivity in critical data centre locations interconnecting on the Hawaiki, Deep Blue One undersea, Southern Cross and The Asia Africa Europe-1 (AAE-1) cable system that provides data to the pacific islands region. Focused on above and below ground communications, oversaw the country's rollout of critical power and communication transformation, and from 2G - 4G communication upgrades across the country headed the A.P.A.C. data centre redevelopment programmes.

He has tenured as Country Manager Vodaphone (South Africa) During the merge and acquisition of Vodacom, Gateway, to P.P.C.W Hong Kong [P.C.C.W.Y.] Working with major ISPs, Carrier partners, undersea cable and satellite companies to deliver critical data and communications.

He has worked on diverse country transformation secondment operational projects across Europe, UAE, GCC, East Asia, PNG (A.P.A.C. Pacific Islands), North Australia, and Africa. Building, optimising and steering change committees in emerging maturing economies working with private enterprises that consulted state parastatals on country communication strategies.

He has also contracted with extensive audit, advisory firms and major global operators, providing critical telecommunication strategy, with leading providers such as B.D.O, Deloitte and GuidPoint U.S.A. focused on their customer's network improvement projects, ranging from subsea fibre, satellite, mobile, wireless, cyber, cloud and datacentre projects, delivering I.T. supply chain, change management, and mitigation.

He served as Commercial Director for Huawei Enterprise, developing the five-year strategy with channel distribution partners across Eastern and Southern Africa.

He launched his international career in the Telecoms industry, as an I.C.T. Consultant in 1998, as an outsourced Management Consultant with Orange Telecomms and S.I.T.A. (Societe Internationale de Telecommunications Aeronautiques Equant, Europe) working on strategic airline communication projects in the U.K.utlising wireless communication strategies.

He holds numerous professional memberships and received his M.B.A. business essentials from the University of Stellenbosch Business School-USB and Entrepreneurship and Transformation Strategies from Harvard Business School. He is working towards commercial and contracts law.


The COVID19 pandemic has changed how we procure our services.

Digital innovation and fintech applications have transformed the way consumers pay for goods worldwide.

Botswana's largest wireless trusted payments solutions provider looks at why African businesses need to remain ahead with the latest online payment and top-up trends. The people of Botswana and the proponents of such technologies are adamant that the only way to develop locally is the 4IR way; we are here to assist with the transformation. These new technologies can positively impact the productivity and profitability of the agricultural sector, especially during this COVID19 pandemic, which has greatly disrupted the global supply chain.

Solutions for crop monitoring, planting, livestock management, crop spraying, and irrigation mapping. VSAT and such long-range wireless communications solutions and technology work well even in the most remote parts of the country.

President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has applauded the local mobile network operators for helping financial institutions close the economic divide through mobile money.
"The agility of this product provides an alternative to the traditional brick and mortar of financial institutions," said Masisi. "The product is an essential technological bank for the unbanked," said Masisi. Alliance for Financial Inclusion, the leading financial inclusion policy and related regulations, estimates that approximately two billion adults worldwide do not have an account in a formal financial institution. In addition, the vast majority of the unbanked adults live in developing countries.


Case Study | Smart City | Social responsibility. Ariel Technologies Botswana App launch

Fintech. Mobile Money. Virtual Wallets. | Secure top-up transactions.

Botswana's largest wireless trusted payments solutions provider looks at why African businesses need to remain ahead with the latest online payment and top-up trends.

Digital innovation and fintech applications have transformed the way consumers pay for goods worldwide. Botswana leads Africa with innovation; the wireless trusted payments solutions provider explains why it is essential for African businesses to remain ahead with the latest online payment and top-up trends.

Ariel Technologies Botswana launched its mobile application "Ariel Mobile" at the 2017 Consumer Fair and has since become the countries largest and trusted supplier of Mobility Solutions. We assist wdistributionrubution of major power paymenpaymentsommunications with our partners in delivering and engineering ICT communication payment gateway solutions easily accessible to millions of their customers.

Sell or Buy, Manage, Value Added Service. Our network payment solutions are ideal for outlets, and easily restock Items now extend directly to your mobile as a value-added service, as we provide prepaid wireless secure top-up transaction services. Experience our secure online network solutions enable the digital transformation of business, an optimised network designed for voice and data performance, critical to keeping the lights on, your business running, and most importantly for you to stay agile, dynamic and connected.

Solutions for mobile and ruggedized handheld GPRS units. See how Botswana's largest carriers support Ariel to solve Africa's biggest time wasters. Purchase prepaid electricity, airtime, services or data effortlessly. Transact online 24/7 and stay safe.

Digital innovation and fintech applications have transformed the way consumers pay for goods worldwide.


Case Study | Smart City| Agriculture.

Ariel Technologies Botswana, a subsidiary of arivia.kom, has extended its contract with the Botswana Ministry of Agriculture.

Now in its second phase of a successfully implemented contract, and formed part of arivia. kom`s drive to expand its business network in the rest of Africa. The project included the provision, design, supply, and implementation of infrastructure to users in Gaborone and remote sites in the southern and western parts of Botswana. This was achieved six weeks ahead of schedule and within the estimated cost.

The infrastructure capability included cabling and networking services, remote services, e-mail facilities, and hardware and software configuration. (The sector is plagued using outdated methods and tools, hence the need for rapid modernisation.)

Botswana farmers are now also taking advantage of VSAT and Drone technology. The lack of modernised and up to date farming methods has been a setback to the local farming sector, which been has attributed to the decline in production. Digitisation and high-speed information can resolve access digitisation trends and better tools. Through the transformative contribution of this technology that falls under the auspices of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR)


Case Study | Smart City | Remote work, Connectivity on the move.

Letting employees choose where and how they want to work is part of the new corporate life; as the culture of remote working continues to grow, employees no longer must be in the office to access information and get work done. Whether they're at the office, at a client site or even on the couch at home, they need a secure connection that enables them to work effectively from where they are, at any time. APN Solutions from Ariel provides fast, secure connectivity from mobile devices to the network you choose – your private company intranet, the Internet, or both.


Case Study | Smart City | Cloud Services.

Cloud services rely heavily on connectivity; that is why Ariel have combined our expansive reach with premium partners to drive the Cloud revolution.

Together we are working towards the advancement and digital transformation of cloud services.

Moving to the cloud is a journey; we bring you adaptive and agile solutions that simplify this digital transition. We provide organisations with a bouquet of world-leading cloud services and a massive endorsement of our network, infrastructure, and data centre capabilities. The strategic partnership places us at the forefront of the software as a service and Cloud revolution.

Data Migration is the process of transferring data between storage types, formats, or computer systems. It is often required when organisations change computer systems or upgrade to new app public, private, or hybrid systems.

Legacy data stored in out-of-date or obsolete formats are evaluated, indexed, and de-duplicated. It is then migrated to newer, more cost-effective and reliable media.


Case Study | Smart City | Agriculture. The Future of Farming.

Digitization is bringing fundamental changes to the agricultural and food industries; The agricultural industry will significantly boost its yields using smart farming.

In the fields, soil sensors help farmers determine the right time for sowing, fertilising, and irrigating the seed. Rerecording relevant environmental information such as sunshine duration and soil moisture levels and sending it to the cloud in real-time.

The data is processed directly and sent back to both the farmer and GPS-guided machines, which are partially automated and accurate within a centimetre. Not a single square meter is covered twice. The result is that the farmer saves valuable resources, working time, and environmentally damaging fertiliser; sensor technology provides all the important information in real-time. Drone technology supports numerous major applications and long-range communications for agriculture.

Drone technology will increase efficiency in certain aspects of farming. From crop monitoring to planting, livestock management, crop spraying and irrigation mapping.


Smart City | Technology is the basis for connected Healthcare.

Whether for statutory health insurance companies, IT providers, hospitals, or start-ups: discover where our solutions are employed. We combine profound industry knowledge with technological expertise to develop products and services that fulfil healthcare's functional and regulatory needs.

Be it private, hybrid, or public. Thanks to our unique security expertise, the data is secure and always protected. We create new digital applications, such as online and automated business processes, through which our customers can ensure more satisfied employees, insured parties, and patients.


Case Study | Smart City | The Future of Delivery.

DHL Express launches its first regular fully-automated and intelligent urban drone delivery service. (Botswana to follow shortly.)

The solution includes fully autonomous loading and offloading and will increase efficiency and cost-effectiveness with less energy consumption. The companies plan to upgrade further innovative drone delivery solutions for last-mile delivery DHL Express, the worlds leading international express delivery service provider. This cutting-edge solution takes its inaugural flight for a DHL customer, making DHL the first international express company to provide such a service.

This smart drone delivery solution will enhance DHLs delivery capabilities and create a new customer experience in the logistics sector that opens up even more opportunities for sustainable growth and more significant economic contribution. Employing drones in express delivery services offers an innovative solution for meeting the increasing demands for time-sensitive delivery, particularly for last-mile delivery in urban areas. DHL will continue to identify new routes developed for clients who need tailored customer services and logistics solutions.


Case Study | Smart City | Mining: 5G underground smart mining.

Overall equipment efficiency in underground mines is frequently becoming the best practice. Together with our partners and customers, we conceptualise, research, design, develop, manufacture, distribute, promote, sell and support electronic data-management products, systems and services. Providing micro communication base station GSM and RF-based data-management hardware and software solutions.

Providing IoT devices custom-built to detect the presence/absence of water, electricity, temperature fluctuation and more, ensuring that high-quality data is accessible through a mobile device.


Case Study | Smart City | Public Safety.

We work with town planners, governments and city officials to implement Smart and secure cloud environments, such as storing and backing up searchable CCTV footage.

Ariel Technologies works with global security specialists to provide on-demand end-to-end public safety solutions. These solutions will provide convergent storage of command and visualised dispatch videos to improve emergency response time and first on scene reactors that can supply instant video footage to relevant parties.

Platforms and intelligent analytics combine to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of law enforcement and ensure a safe environment for the public.

For maximum cost-effectiveness, we work directly with the manufacturers and our project planners to ensure public safety solutions can be rolled out as part of a broader Smart City data storage and archiving of broadband initiatives.


Case Study | Smart City | Rail Systems.

Rail Systems can be divided into several categories, including light trains, metro rails, heavy rail, subways and more. Reliable retrievable communications is a crucial component in any railway system, especially when it comes to human safety.

Efficient railway operations rely on accurate, on-time communications between stations, control and dispatch centres, and rolling stock to ensure safety, security, and uninterrupted service Railway communications generate vast amount amounts of data across their systems and must, therefore, provide reliable data solutions and asset management for their signalling, voice, video, and data traffic along railway lines and across backbone transmission networks.

Railway data systems operations require reliable, fault-tolerant and mission-critical accessibility of their communications.

Types of communications services include dispatch and control recording, line side communications and signalling to archive. In this increasingly globalised world, transportation is more important than ever.

Modern society requires traffic and transportation systems that are green, safe, and efficient. We ensure a green environment by limiting the amount of legacy hardware used onsite in outdated data centres. Our connected solutions enhance ICT utilisation in the transportation industry to help customers offer optimal transportation services, make travel more efficient, future-proofed, convenient, improve data logistics, tracking efficiency, and better transportation safety.

Our ICT solutions for the transport industry are based on a fault-tolerant secure data management system design with hot standby options, robust networking over different infrastructures, highly configurable routing schemes, and open standards, including important CCTV and rail storage crossings information other data related systems. But most importantly, reliable communications.


Case Study | Smart City | Upskilling and Training.

Assisting Botswana's youth and retrenched earn additional ICT skills to be better equipped for the next wave of innovation. These strategies help us develop the skills for the next generation needed to remain competitive in the industry.


Case Study | Smart City | Smart AI- Machine to Machine.

Intelligent machine to machine and advanced robotics gear up for the future of networked manufacturing. Ariel has a range of big data solutions such as storing data for the mobile Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud computing, and Big Data to help companies develop more agile manufacturing.

We transform industries into a more intelligent, efficient operation with mobile office, production, sales, service, and supply solutions.

Internet of things (IoT) technology has connected many physical devices worldwide. It is becoming a growth engine in different industries. .

We ensure network coverage, connectivity, availability, and device management capacity, critical for every business in the IoT era.

We leverage a high-quality 05 global network, with access to rich industry knowledge and expertise to provide international IoT services to enterprise customers and mobile network operators.

An IoT ecosystem has been created with various industry solutions and applications, including automotive, public transport, manufacturing, asset tracking and innovative city applications. A wide variety of cross-industry applications and solutions help enterprises and mobile network operators tap into unlimited business opportunities in IoT and stay ahead in the competition.

Our IoT service is delivered via our extensive worldwide mobile 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G partner networks and is supported by our extensive private global MPLS and SD-WAN infrastructure.

End-to-end IoT connectivity can be very complex, often involving a combination of local and international connections, leased lines, public internet, mobile and Wi-Fi networks, private and public clouds. Our IoT solutions simplify the ordering, deployment and change management of your entire global IoT network.


Case Study | Smart City | Education.

The business of education is as complex as an enterprise environment; the requirements of cost-effective communications solutions are just as necessary.

It is about connecting and fostering collaboration between teachers, students, parents, and school administrators, better education is about making people, communities, and the nation competitive and self-sustainable.

Todays online learning, society, and how students learn are rapidly changing. Students are no longer tied to traditional brick-and-mortar classrooms, and modern education now fits our busy lifestyles and flexible schedules. We build the bridges to cross the digital divide, equalise educational opportunities, and help improve teaching quality.

We assist educational faculties to stay ahead of the curve by providing better-connected solutions, secure online storage, backup and archiving and flexibly scaled out information asset management with innovative ICT solutions. Enriching Lives.


Case Study | Smart City | Rural Communications.

A New Horizon: For Rural Mobile Users and Remote Villages. 4/5G Communications for Africa.

Challenges and Opportunities Ahead. Bringing down costs of connectivity.
Solutions designed by Ariel Technologies Botswana and Huawei to offer rural communications in Botswana, which provide voice and data services for underserved and unserved communities to extend the national mobile communication coverage.

Significantly accelerating local economic development, improving people's livelihoods. This solution transforms microwave or satellite in traditional rural networks into a wireless relay, towers into simple poles, and diesel generators into clean and green solar energy.

Millions of people remain sparsely scattered throughout many remote areas, having little or no access to the internet.

In recent years, the operators and the governments have worked closely to bring networks to these rural areas. Operators cannot feasibly expect a reasonable payback, even with the additional government subsidies. This means that it will require at least ten years to recoup the cost of deploying one base station.

A traditional base station will cost even more than deployment in an urban area in these villages. This is due to the absence of capable electricity and transmission networks. 1 Mbit/s bandwidth satellite transmission covers a cost of over USD 1000 per month.

Ariel Technologies Botswana will provide an alternative cost-effective solution that uses relay-based 4G and 5G technology to realise data transmission instead of expensive satellite and microwave. Illuminating line of sight (LOS) constraints constructed on a simple pole instead of a 30 m dedicated tower. With low-power features and quick to deploy, completed in just a week, and reduces 70% of costs. Rural Telco Solutions have also begun rolling out across Ghana.

They are bridging the digital Divide Across Africa. The villages will also access Ariel's Mobile Money App to recharge communication or power quickly. Local schools are already starting to long for network connections to connect computers and phones to teach local children how to use ICT and tech.


9 Sep 2021

Ariel Technologies, Botswana`s Network Partner BTC, reports a big jump in mobile data usage during a pandemic.

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) has reported a 1% increase in revenues in its financial year to 31 March 2021 to BWP1.43 billion (USD127 million). Pre-tax profits jumped 19% to BWP165.8 million, Mmegi Online noted. Revenue from mobile data services was up 85%, driven by a 300% increase in mobile data traffic as consumers moved online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Overall payments for mobile services were up 8% at BWP452.4 million, with a more significant proportion of its sales accounted for by fixed broadband subscribers.


4 Aug 2021

BTC reduction in fixed broadband prices approved by the regulator.

The Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) has approved a reduction in internet tariffs by Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC). A report states that the monthly cost of a 20Mbps connection on a three-year contract will drop from BWP975 to BWP650. A 50Mbps service will see the price fall by 40%, from BWP1,985 to BWP1,200, while the 100Mbps product is being cut from BWP2,800 a month BWP1,900. BOCRA spokesperson Aaron Nyelesi said: Botswana aims at making ICT affordable to citizens to facilitate learning and working from home as the economy grapples with the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.


7 Jun 2021

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner, Orange Botswana, launches a TD-LTE broadband network.

Mobile operator Orange Botswana has launched a new TD-LTE network to provide home and business users fixed-wireless connectivity. The Konnecta Max service includes three tiers of pre-paid and post-paid offers and is available to customers in 22 towns across the country. The cellco already uses its FDD 4G network to provide access for home users.

Orange Botswana CEO Dr Patrick Benon says that with the COVID-19 crisis, Botswana's need for fixed internet has tremendously increased. Our customers need more speed, stability, and unlimited internet at an affordable price. We have decided to use 4G-TDD technology because our customers at home consume heavy amounts of data and want unlimited internet. Also, it was important to separate the fixed internet network from the mobile network to avoid fixed internet usage compromising the quality of our mobile usage.


8 Apr 2021

Botswana drops MNP plans.

Botswanas Minister of Transport and Communications, Thulaganyo Segokgo, has announced that plans to implement mobile number portability (MNP) have been abandoned after more than six years of preparation. A report from Mmegi says the Minister has told Parliament that the initiative would not proceed as an operator network readiness assessment study had shown that it was not feasible. He said operators were being encouraged to investigate other alternatives to MNP, such as promoting over-the-top (OTT) services and other disruptive technologies.

The smallest of the country's three cellcos, BTC Mobile, will arguably be the most disappointed at the failure to introduce portability. It hoped to increase imashareare by 30% by luring subscribers away from its larger rivals, Mascom and Orange. MNP allows a customer to change network providers while retaining their original number.


18 Jun 2020

Ariel Technologies Botswanas partner, Orange upgrades 4G network in Botswana.

Orange Botswana has announced the launch of LTE-A services, increasing data transfer rates on its 4G network. The operator said that the upgrades, which are branded 4G+, have reached parts of Greater Gaborone and Francistown and will eventually cover much of the country. As part of the launch, Orange has also lowered the prices of some of its mobile data bundles and increased the daily bandwidth on its All My Friends tariffs from 200MB to 500MB. Orange is the second largest of Botswana's three cellcos in subscriber terms, ahead of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation but behind market leader Mascom, which is majority-owned by MTN Group of South Africa.


16 Sep 2019

BTC improves satellite connectivity.

The AMOS satellite fleet operator announced that Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) is doubling its capacity on the AMOS-7 platform. The new capacity,state-backed, BTC adds cellular backhaul and various long-distance communication services to enhance rural area connectivity. This will, in turn, support e-learning and other e-government services while also improving broadband access in rural regions. Anthony Masunga, Managing Director of BTC, commented that BTC is adding new and exciting services that will go far to reduce our country's digital divide and offer citizens in previously underserved areas more options to communicate throughout Botswana and beyond.


28 Jun 2019

BTC revamps mobile money service with Comviva.

Fixed and mobile operator Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) revamped its mobile money platform SMEGA using the According to a company release, SMEGA now provides a one-stop-shop for multiple financial transactions such as person-to-person money transfer, airtime and data purchase, pre-paid electricity purchase, water bill payment, BTC post-paid bill payment and salary payment.

Edward Wicks, Chief Commercial Officer at BTC, said: SMEGA is focused on enabling access to financial services to imprpeople'sple's lives and positively contribute to the economy by accelerating financial inclusion and economic development. We also trust that our customers across the country will find it easy, fast, and more convenient to transfer money, make payments, and do other financial transactions.

According to figures from the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA), BTC had just 240 mobile money users, at the end of March 2019, from its customer base of over 500,000 cellular subscribers. Botswana was home to 1.15 million mobile money users on the same date, with Orange leading the market with over 750,000 customers.


2 Apr 2019

Botswana to introduce MNP. Mobile Number Portability.

The government of Botswana says it plans to implement mobile number portability (MNP) at some point in the next twelve months, enabling consumers to retain their existing phone numbers when changing their service providers. Transport and Communications Minister Dorcas Makgato has told Parliament that the service will be introduced in the financial year beginning 1 April 2019.

State-backed telco Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) says the move would allow operators to compete on service quality and pricing. A report from Mmegi says BTC is hoping to increase its share of the mobile market from around 16% currently to as much as 30% thanks to MNP. As well as BTC, mobile customers in Botswana are served by more prominent players Mascom and Orange.

Makgato told Parliament: let's introduce MNP to compete on service. Allow customers to choose. Customers tend to stick to operators even when they are unhappy with their services, fearing losing their specific mobile numbers, which they might have used for many years. This will provide customers with the flexibility and freedom to switch between service operators without fear of losing their mobile numbers.


25 Apr 2018

BTC completes the first stage of the broadband upgrade.

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) says it has completed the first phase of its Bokamoso project, under which it is upgrading and expanding its fixed broadband networks. The BWP90 million (USD9 million) scheme, first announced in November 2017, is expected to run for twelve months and is designed to improve internet connectivity in the country's main cities. The first phase covered parts of Gaborone and Francistown, the Weekend Post reports. Phase two will continue work in Gaborone and extend connectivity to other parts of the country. The upgrade is being carried out in cooperation with the South Korean telco KT Corp.

BTCs managing director, Anthony Masunga, says that he hopes the project will also lead to lower prices for broadband users: Prices will ultimately come down as we build volume and uptake. We will negotiate with our broadband provider, Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFiNet), to see how we can accommodate such a development.


28 Feb 2018

Mascom launches FTTH in Botswana.

Botswanan cellco Mascom Wireless has launched what it says is the country's first fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) service. While the service is initially only available to around 500 homes in the Phakalane district of Gaborone capital, there are plans to expand coverage to other areas. Mascom says it will also be adding IP telephony alongside its fibre internet products. MTN Group subsidiary Mascom is Botswana's largest cellco by subscribers, with around 1.75 million customers, while it has also been offering home and business internet access via fixed-wireless links.


22 Aug 2017

BTCL plans BWP60m broadband investment.

State-backed fixed-line and mobile operator Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) says it plans to invest BWP60 million (USD5.8 million) to improve its ADSL internet services. The project, which will begin in Phakalane before moving to other parts of the country, aims to improve network reliability and data speeds, Weekend Post reports. BTCLs cellular subsidiary, beMobile, launched 4G LTE services earlier this year. The parent company is currently simplifying its business structure, uniting mobile and its fixed-line sister company under the converged BTC banner.


19 May 2017

Cable Compendium: a guide to the weeks submarine and terrestrial developments.

Southern Cross Cables, owned by Telecom NZ (50%), Singtel-Optus (40%) and Verizon (10%), has signed letters of intent (LoIs) regarding the USD350 million NEXT submarine cable aiming to connect Clovelly (Australia) with Los Angeles (US) with seven parties to date, including three major Australasian carriers and four Pacific Islands. At the same time, discussions with other parties are also ongoing.

The NEXT project will interconnect with existing Southern Cross systems and 15 cable station and data centre locations currently accessible by Southern Cross Cables across Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Hawaii, and the US. The NEXT cable is expected to provide an additional 60Tbps of capacity for customers when completed in 2019, adding to the existing 20Tbps of power of the current Southern Cross systems.

As previously reported by TeleGeographys Cable Compendium, Hong Kong-based EGS commenced the marine survey for the submarine link in March; around 45% of the 12,500km route is now surveyed, and with tender submissions for the system construction currently closed, the project is on target for completion in 2019.

Elsewhere in the region, construction work on the Hawaiki Cable is progressing as planned, with the system on route for completion by mid-2018. The 13,127km Hawaiki Cable will connect Australia, New Zealand and the US with several South Pacific Islands and Hawaii, with a ready for service (RFS) date of June 2018. Cable developer Hawaiki Submarine Cable and equipment vendor TE SubCom revealed that more than 13,000km of the cable had been manufactured at SubComs Newington facility (US), along with more than 150 competed repeaters.

In addition, all installation permits for the cable landings in Australia, New Zealand, and Oregon (US) have been secured, while securing the permissions in Hawaii is currently ongoing. Further, horizontal directional drilling (HDD) for the cable landing in Oregon has commenced. It will be completed in the coming weeks, with the first load including 7,000km of cable set to begin in mid-2017.

The Asia Africa Europe-1 (AAE-1) submarine cable system has landed in Cambodia, with the shore end lying at Sihanoukville now complete. The 25,000km network owned by 19 global service providers will connect Asia, the Middle East, East Africa and Europe. AAE-1 will deploy 100Gbps technology with wavelength add/drop branching units along the lowest latency route with a design capacity of over 40Tbps.

DOCOMO Pacific has commenced the marine layer of the ATISA system in Guam. The 280km cable will connect the unincorporated US territories of Guam and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), specifically the islands of Saipan, Rota and Tinian. The ATISA cable will comprise six fibre pairs, with an initial capacity of 100Gbps on the Guam-Saipan route (over three express fibre pairs) and 10Gbps on the other ways (Guam-Rota, Guam-Tinian, Rota-Tinian, Rota-Saipan and Tinian-Saipan) for a total design capacity of 4.8Tbps using current technology. DOCOMOs USD26 million investment in the project will comprise USD16 million to construct the cable and the backup microwave system and USD10 million within the next two years for upgrades to the fixed and mobile network on the three islands.

Turk Telekom International (TTI) and PT Telekomunikasi Indonesia International (Telin) signed a SeaMeWe-5 Capacity Exchange Agreement to explore joint business opportunities and geographic synergies between two leading telecommunications companies. The agreement will facilitate Telin to land its SeaMeWe-5 capacity at Turkey Marmaris Cable Landing Station (CLS) and extend its network coverage into Turkey, Central and Eastern European countries and the Caucasus region.

International service provider RETN has agreed with Dublin-based network solutions provider Aqua Comms secure transatlantic capacity on Aqua Comms America-Europe Connect (AEConnect) subsea cable system stretching from Shirley (New York) to Killala on the West Coast of Ireland. This cooperation enables RETN to obtain additional route diversity and expand its cross-border network to North America. With more than 100Tbps of designed capacity, AEConnect is a 100G system that will support transmission capabilities of 8QAM, 16QAM and beyond.

RETN CEO Tony O'Sullivan commented: The integration of Aqua Comms AEConnect cable in our backbone allowed us to establish new low latency connectivity between New York and London, and thus significantly expand our networks reach while ensuring the scalability and high performance necessary to meet our business objectives as well as our client's needs.RETN owns an extensive DWDM network that stretches 32,000km and provides connectivity services across three continents and 29 countries.

OTE International Solutions (OTEGlobe), the wholesale arm of OTE Group, and Hutchison Global Communications (HGC), the fixed-line arm of Hutchison Telecommunications Hong Kong Holdings (HTHKH), have inked an agreement to interconnect their backbone networks at OTEGlobes PoP in Frankfurt (Germany) and HGCs PoP in Singapore, with another landing PoPs in major Asian cities (including Hong Kong) to be added in the future. In addition, the agreement will include connectivity over the new Asia-Africa-Europe-1 (AAE-1) cable, expected to be RFS in Q2 2017.

Chiles Sub-Secretariat for Telecommunications (Subtle) has relaunched the country's dormant fibre-optic project Fibra Optica Austral (shelved in October 2016). The government aims to deploy nearly 4,000km of fibre-optic infrastructure in the southern Patagonia region. The project fell flat last year after Conexiones y Telefonia Austral was named the sole company to submit a bid for one of the four network sections. The Sub-Secretariat for Telecommunications (Subtle) subsequently held several meetings with interested parties and modified some of the terms and conditions of the tender document. Under the government's revised terms and conditions, interested parties could set up consortiums, while the deployment time has been extended to 26 months. The tender encompasses four stretches: one 450km submarine cable linking Puerto Williams with Puerto Montt, in addition to three terrestrial connections across the Magallanes, Antarctica Chilena, Aysen del General Carlos Ibanez del Camp and Los Lagos regions. The Fibra Optica Austral project will require an investment of USD100 million and is slated for completion by 2020.

Global interconnection and data centre company *Equinix*is collaborating with Stockholm-based Eastern Light for its new fibre-optic cable route in northern Europe. The new cable system stretching from Sweden (Stockholm) to Finland (Hanko, Helsinki and Kotka) is non-amplified and designed to let customers use their equipment on their dark fibre. Along the route, the cable will terminate in two Equinix International Business Exchange (IBX) data centres, HE6 in Helsinki and SK2 in Stockholm, vital interconnection points for the Nordics, and help facilitate the flow of global internet traffic in and out of the region. The Sweden-Finland portion of the cable is scheduled for completion in autumn 2017.

Telia Carrier has added a new high capacity route that stretches from Zurich in Switzerland to Strasbourg (France) via Basel (Switzerland), providing a shortened path and lower latency between Frankfurt (Germany) and Zurich. With the addition of a new PoP and metro fibre in Zurich, the new route provides routing options that dramatically improve performance for traffic to and from Milan (Italy) and Marseilles (France). Further, the company has expanded its presence in Italy with two new PoPs in Milan.

China Telecom Global (CTG) has announced the launch of 100G service capability via its terrestrial cable system in collaboration with unnamed Russian operators. The initiative further diversifies CTGs product portfolio along the Europe-Asia route, following the late-2016 CTGs ultra-low latency terrestrial route via the China-Kazakhstan Gateway, dubbed the Super Transit Silk Road (Super TRS). Cross-border transmission systems strengthen the new 100G capability via the China-Russia, China-Mongolia-Russia and China-Kazakhstan-Russia routes. FiberLight has launched services over its previously introduced long-haul network, connecting Texas Valley areas to major cities including Houston, San Antonio, Austin and Dallas, and providing direct connectivity into pivotal south Texas data centres. FiberLight owns and manages over 1.7 million fibre miles in over 400 cities and towns across the US. It also maintains over 17,000 backbone access points, 1,700 on-net locations, and over 100 data centres. The FiberLight network within the State of Texas spans nearly 12,000 miles.

Global connectivity provider Avelacom has launched a new PoP at AT TOKYO data centre facilities to improve low latency offerings for vital financial markets in London and Tokyo. The new PoP is now connected to Avelacoms Slough and Interxion trading hubs via its global network to enable direct interaction between trading venues of the two cities. Elsewhere, SEACOM has established two new PoPs in the landlocked countries of Rwanda and Botswana, in partnership with Rwandan ISP Broadband Systems Corporation and Abari Communications of Botswana.

Lastly, Hengtong Marine Cable Systems has announced the successful completion of three separate repeated cable sea trials in conjunction with Huawei Marine Networks. The surface lay tests were completed in 5,000m water depth, some 300 nautical miles east of Amami-O Shima (Japan), while the plough burial experiment was conducted in 500m water depth. The final investigation included a power switching branching unit (PSBU), which was deployed and recovered in a water depth of 4,000m.


10 Apr 2017

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner Botswanas BTC launches 4G.

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) has announced the launch of its LTE network, allowing it to compete with existing 4G providers Mascom and Orange. Although its rivals launched LTE-based services more than two years ago, BTC claims to have the most comprehensive 4G network coverage, with connectivity available at over 95 sites from launch, according to a report from Mmegi Online. State-backed BTC previously offered cellular services under the beMobile brand but now uses the BTC banner for all fixed and mobile products.


15 Feb 2017

BoFiNet signs a new Wi-Fi partner.

State-owned Botswana Fibre Network (BoFiNet) has unveiled a partnership with local ISP CENE Media, allowing CENE customers to gain access to BoFiNets network of Wi-Fi hotspots around the country. BoFiNet unveiled the Botswana Hotspot project in 2015, saying it planned to deploy Wi-Fi access points in locations such as airports, hospitals, major shopping malls and Gaborone central business district.

News portal Mmegi Online says any CENE Media customer who has a Turbo package for home or business will receive free bonus Wi-Fi at Botswana Hotspot locations. Wholesale provider BoFiNet was established in November 2012 to manage the network infrastructure assets spun off from state-backed telco Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC).


10 Oct 2016

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner, BTC preparing for 4G launch

The newly rebranded Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC), which combines the operations of fixed-line operator BTCL and wireless operator be mobile, says it has set aside BWP90 million (USD8.6 million) to roll out 4G LTE equipment at 105 sites. Mmegi Online reports that the telco has already commissioned eight LTE sites in the capital Gaborone and the first users are now involved in trials of 4G services. Larger rivals Mascom Wireless and Orange Botswana launched 4G services in February 2015.


13 Sep 2016

Botswana has no plans to restrict VoIP.

He notes that internet-based applications, content, and services are embNorth America, Europe, and Asia in advanced ICT markets and Asia. Botswana does not want to follow the lead of African countries such as Zimbabwe, Gambia, and Ethiopia by restricting the applications such as Skype. Botswana subscriberegulatinghnology neutrality in its approach to regulating the communications sector. Therefore, the introduction of VoIP was a deliberate government policy decision that is in sync with global communications technology development trends, Balebetse added. BTCL is 51%-owned by the government of Botswana, with the remaining 49% sold to the public and employees via an initial public offer (IPO) earlier this year.


6 Jul 2016

BTCL looks to mobile services to drive revenue growth.

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) has reported a loss of BWP371 million (USD35.4 million) for its financial year to 31 March 2016, down from a profit of BWP147 million the year before. Due to technology changes, the loss was attributed to impairment costs from the write-down of property, plant, and equipment. Revenues for the year were slightly ahead of BTCLs forecast at BWP1.5 billion.

According to a report from local newspaper The Monitor, general manager finance Abel Bogatsu expects mobile services to help drive revenue growth in fiscal 2016/17. BTCL is active in Botswanas cellular market through its wholly-owned subsidiary BTC Mobile, which offers services under the name beMobile. TeleGeographys GlobalComms Database notes that beMobile is the smallest of the country's three wireless operators, with a market share of around 20% at end-March 2016. The government of Botswana offloaded a 49% stake in BTCL via an IPO earlier this year, raising BWP462 million in the process.


11 Dec 2015

BoFiNet completes network expansion.

Botswanas national telecoms infrastructure company BoFiNet says it has completed a BWP300,000 (USD29,000) network expansion which has seen it deploy more than 1,000km of the new fibre backbone network. In October 2014, the government-owned firm awarded contracts for three rollout projects: the 360km Sekoma-Tsabong link was deployed by Dimension Data; the 325km Sehithwa-Mohembo project was handed to Complaint Botswana and Mepi Building Construction, and the 362km Maun-Ngoma optical fibre project was carried out by Four Arrows and Echoes Holdings. As part of the upgrade work, BoFiNet has also constructed metro rings in Maun and Kasane.
Thato Jensen, Strategy & Business Development Executive at BoFiNet, said that the project will widen broadband connectivity and enable BoFiNet customers to provide products and services countrywide at competitive and affordable prices.


13 Aug 2015

Four southern African states agree to cut international roaming costs.

Mobile operators in Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe are to cut cross-border roaming fees as part of a pilot project launched by 1 September. According to a report from the Namibian newspaper New Era, all cellcos in the four southern African countries have agreed to implement a glide path to reduce roaming tariffs.

A statement from the Communications Regulatory Authority of Namibia (CRAN) has said that operators in any of the other eleven member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will be eligible to join the pilot scheme if they apply before 1 October. According to CRAN, a recommendation will be made to the Communications Regulators Association of Southern Africa (CRASA) that a regional clearinghouse be is established to ensure lower costs for roaming in the region.


9 Apr 2015

Botswana government explains delay in BTCL sale.

Botswanas Minister of Transport and Communications, Tshenolo Mabeo, has said the delays in the planned initial public offering (IPO) in national fixed-line operator Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL) were partly due to problems with the transfer of infrastructure from BTCL to national networks firm BoFiNet. Responding to questions in parliament, Mabeo said that the original Possession and Use agreement, which was due to be signed last November ahead of the planned IPO the following month, was not fit for purpose, according to a report from state news agency BOPA. The BTCL transaction advisors, Collins Newman and Deloitte Consortium, said that a new Possession and Use document should be drafted, and this was eventually signed on 4 March, transferring all BTCL infrastructure to state-owned BoFiNet, which was established in 2012 to take over the running of the country's telecoms networks, with BTCL acting purely as a service retailer.

Initially planned for 2011, the sale first ran into problems in 2012, before an IPO was cancelled in August 2014. The offer was then rescheduled for 7 November, but issues with the sale of shares to employees caused another preponement to end-December. This date, too, was missed, and the government has yet to announce a new schedule for the listing. 44% of BTCs shares will be available for purchase by individual investors and Batswana companies, while 5% will be reserved for the telco's employees through an Employee Share Ownership Programme (ESOP).


27 Mar 2015

Vodafone, BTC ink Partner Market agreement.

Vodafone Group has announced a new Partner Market agreement with Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTC), enabling the latter to enhance its customer proposition in Botswana with Vodafone's products and services. Under the non-equity partnership agreement, BTC has become the UK-based firm's preferred partner in Botswana; The two companies will jointly offer business and consumer customers a range of products and services. Vodafone's multinational corporate customers will benefit from the addition of Botswana to their existing contracts for international managed services w while beingrviced via a single point of contact. BTC will access Vodafone's global data reach and a competitive cost customer's international calls.

We are delighted to have entered into the non-equity strategic partnership with a global player of Vodafone's standing, commented BTCs managing director Paul Taylor, adding: The partnership will allow us to better differentiate against the competition, delivering innovative communications solutions for the benefit of our customers and visitors to Botswana. On the other hand, Vodafone will draw on BTCs extensive network coverage.


12 Mar 2015

BoFiNet to deploy fibre and Wi-Fi infrastructure.

Botswanas national telecoms infrastructure company Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFiNet) has launched two new projects to improve connectivity in the country. The Wholesale Wi-Fi scheme will see the deployment of up to 600 public Wi-Fi hotspots in locations such as hospitals, schools and hotels in Gaborone, Mahalapye, Palapye, Serowe, Francistown, Maun and Kasane. Meanwhile, the Fibre-to-the-X project will roll out fibre infrastructure in Tsabong, Selibe-Phikwe, Lobatse, Molepolole and Jwaneng. The programmes are funded by the Ministry of Transport and Communications and the Universal Access Service Fund (UASF), Mmegi Online reports.


6 Mar 2015

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner Orange 4G set for expansion to Francistown, Maun, Palapye

Orange Botswana, the country's second-largest mobile operator by subscribers, has installed 25 live 4G LTE sites in Gaborone and is set to increase the total in the capital to 40 shortly, Mmegi Online reports, citing the cellcos director of corporate affairs, Lepata Mafa. Orange, which announced the commercial launch of 4G services last month, is set to bring LTE network coverage to Francistown, Maun and Palapye shortly, and this will be followed by expansion to a further 30 towns and villages, including Mogoditshane, Tlokweng, Gabane, Oodi, Mmopane, Metsimotlabe, Thamaga, Jwaneng, Molepolole and Goodhope.

4G is rapidly changing mobile behaviour, with customers increasing their data usage watching more television and video, using mobile office applications, real-time video, streaming music, and other rich multimedia applications on the go, said Mafa. Orange has also introduced its 4G-enabled smartphone, the Orange Roya, priced at BWP1,499 (USD151).


18 Feb 2015

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner Mascom unveils Botswanas latest 4G LTE service

Botswanas mobile market leader Mascom has announced the launch of 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services, following hot on the heels of rival Orange Botswana's own 4G switch-on. Coverage details of the new service from Mascom have not been released. The launch came as part of the operator's 17th-anniversary celebrations, ITWeb Africa reports, with Mascom confirming that it now has a 100% EDGE-enabled 2.5G network. In comparison, its 3G infrastructure covers 70% of the population. The firm first began LTE trials back in June 2012. According to TeleGeographys GlobalComms Database, Mascom claimed 51.7% of Botswana's mobile market at the end of September 2014 with 1.7 million subscribers, ahead of Orange with 26.5% and beMobile with 21.8%.


16 Feb 2015

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner. Orange switches on 4G in Gaborone

Orange Botswana, the country's second-largest mobile operator by subscribers, has announced the commercial launch of 4G LTE services. The network was switched on in the capital Gaborone on 13 February, and services will be expanded to Francistown, Palapye and Maun by the end of the month. 4G is available at no additional cost for data subscribers, although customers require a 4G-enabled device and SIM card to access the faster speeds.


20 Jan 2015

Botswana utility firm considers opening up fibre network.

A trio of ICT consultants have recommended that the Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) be allowed to open up its 850km fibre-optic backbone network to telecoms providers. According to a report from Mmwegi, South Africa-based Setics, Progressus of France, and ICT Consultants of Botswana have told the Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) that current legislation would allow BPC to sell spare fibre capacity to telcos if it were awarded a Public Telecommunications Operator (PTO) licence. The study was initially commissioned by BOCRAs predecessor, the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA). BPCs fibre infrastructure covers most urban areas in the eastern part of the country.


11 Dec 2014

BTC IPO postponed.

The initial public offer of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTC), under which the government plans to offload a 49% stake in the company, has been pushed back. According to a report from local news portal Mmegi, the Ministry of Transport and Communications has stated that the initial public offering (IPO) will not now go ahead on 31 December as planned, and an exact date for the opening of the offer will be announced early next year. According to the ministry, institutional investors did not want to open the sale over the Christmas and New Year holiday break.

Initially planned for 2011, the sale first ran into problems in 2012, before an IPO was cancelled in August. The offer was then rescheduled for 7 November, but issues with the sale of shares to employees caused another postponement to end-December. 44% of BTCs shares will be available for purchase by individual investors and Batswana companies, while 5% will be reserved for the telco's employees through an Employee Share Ownership Programme (ESOP).


3 Nov 2014

BoFiNet announces fibre plans.

Botswanas state-owned communications infrastructure firm Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFiNet) has announced plans to deploy FTTx fibre-optic networks to replace its legacy copper infrastructure. ITWeb Africa reports that the BWP150 million (USD16 million) project will enable BoFiNet to provide faster and cheaper wholesale internet connections to the country's internet service providers (ISPs), leading to an improved service for end-users. BoFiNets chief project engineer, Mpho Koolese, commented: FTTx removes all the bottlenecks that slow down the performance of other types of networks. Work on the project is expected to begin next month and initially will cover some areas of the capital Gaborone, second city Francistown and resort towns Kasane, Kazungula and Maun. BoFiNet says it is also looking to deploy public Wi-Fi networks in high-traffic areas of Gaborone, such as shopping malls.


23 Oct 2014

BoFiNeT awards five new infrastructure contracts.

Botswanas state-owned infrastructure company, Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFiNeT), has awarded contracts for the construction of three new fibre-optic backbone links covering around 1,000km in total and two metropolitan rings MmegiOnline reports. The arrangements are estimated to be costing about BWP200 million (USD21.6 million) and were awarded as follows: the 360km Sekoma-Tsabong link will be deployed by Dimension Data; the 325km Sehithwa-Mohembo project was handed to Complaint Botswana and Mepi Building Construction; the 362km Maun-Ngoma optical fibre project is being carried out by Four Arrows and Echoes Holdings; the Maun metro ring will be deployed by MMP Construction and Nowaji Services, and the Kasane-Kazungula metro fibre project will be carried out by Business Online.

BoFiNeT was spun off from former monopoly fixed-line operator Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) in November 2012 and now owns and operates the countrys nationwide backbone networks, as well as its interests in international cable systems such as Eastern Africa Submarine System (EASSy) and West African Cable System (WACS).


10 Oct 2014

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner, Orange Botswana inks managed services deal with Ericsson

Orange Botswana has signed a multi-year managed services agreement with Ericsson. The Swedish vendor will assume responsibility for the cellcos network infrastructure's operational management and field maintenance, writes Biztech Africa. Orange is seeking to optimise its network and IT operations to improve the quality of service and customer experience. The agreement will allow Orange to leverage Ericsson's technical expertise and knowledge to maintain and further improve its network performance.

This agreement with Ericsson reflects our long-standing partnership and our ongoing commitment to deliver on a simple promise: to be first for service, value and innovation, commented Philippe Baudin, CEO of Orange Botswana. Karl Johan-Nybell, vice president of Managed Services at Ericsson sub-Saharan Africa, added: As Africa's leading provider of managed services, we are committed to bringing our global expertise and experience in this field to bear on this engagement, to afford Oranges customers quality services and superior network performance.


2 Oct 2014

Globalstar to deploy satellite gateway in Botswana with BBi.

The satellite communications provider Globalstar has established a partnership with Broadband Botswana Internet (BBi) to construct a satellite gateway in the capital city Gaborone. The gateway is expected to be operational by this year. It will cover Botswana and surrounding countries such as South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Madagascar, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, Angola, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Burundi and Zambia. Satellite voice and data services will be targeted at industries including mining, farming and logistics, while they will also be made available to private users.


10 Jul 2014
Ariel Technologies Botswana moves to improve rural broadband services.

The government of Botswana is to implement a new five-year plan, currently dubbed the Draft National Broadband Strategy (DBNS), to improve internet access in rural areas. A report from Ventures Africa quotes Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Olebile Gaborone, as saying: As part of the plan, in this financial year, several initiatives have been identified which seek, amongst other things, to address issues of poor network performance, limited or lacking services and reliability.

Details of specific projects under the DBNS have not yet been announced. According to TeleGeographys GlobalComms Database, less than 4% of Botswana's households subscribed to broadband services as of end-March 2014.


24 Apr 2014

Ten million Orange Money customers in 13 countries.

Orange Group has announced the milestone of ten million customers of its Africa-Middle East mobile money service Orange Money, which is now available in 13 countries: Botswana, Cameroon, Cote d'Ivoire, Egypt (under the name Mobicash), Guinea, Jordan, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Niger, Senegal and Uganda. In 2013, Orange says more than EUR2.2 billion (USD3.04 billion) in transactions were conducted through Orange Money. The French group added that more than 40% of all Orange mobile customers have an Orange Money account in some countries, such as Cote d'Ivoire. Orange executive Stephane Richard called it proof that we made the right choice when we decided to offer mobile payment services in 2008, and added: While making a strong contribution to economic and social development, mobile financial services also represent a major growth engine in Africa and the Middle East as well as in Europe for Orange.

TeleGeography notes that Orange is just one amongst the multinational mobile groups who are all expanding their mobile banking/payment/money transfer services to meet demand; regional rival group MTN reported this week that its Mobile Money service reached a total of 16.6 million registered users across Africa and the Middle East at the end of March 2014.


31 Mar 2014

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner Orange refreshes pre-paid offering with Ola! Tariffs.

Orange Botswana, the country's second-largest mobile operator by subscribers, is set to launch a new range of pre-paid tariffs under the Ola! Brand, allowing customers to choose from various packages that include talk minutes, SMS and data, Biztech reports. We have listened to our customer's feedback and introduced Orange Ola! pre-paid packages. Customers want simple and flexible offers to cater for their needs, commented Orange Botswana CEO, Philippe Baudin. The tariff range includes Ola! Classic comes with minutes to all networks and SMS; Ola! Social, including minutes to the Orange network, SMS and data for Facebook and Twitter; Ola! Surf & Talk, containing minutes for all domestic networks and data; and Ola! Ulti includes minutes to all networks in Botswana and unlimited SMS and data. The four tariffs are available on a daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Baudin added: In the end, we wanted to create an innovative new offer to help develop stronger bonds with our customers. This comes from understanding their evolving needs. I am confident that we have answered those needs with Ola! pre-paid packages. convincedonfident that they will enjoy this innovation because these pre-paid packages offer the most competitive rates in the market on a variety of usages. TeleGeographys GlobalComms Database notes that Orange reported a total of 880,000 mobile customers at the end of 2013 (giving it a market share of 27.0%), behind MTN-owned market leader Mascom Wireless with 1.71 million (52.5%) and ahead of BTC Mobile with around 672,000 subscribers (20.6%).


8 Oct 2013

Botswana launches BoFINET ahead of BTC privatisation.

Botswana Fibre Networks (BoFINET), which was established last year following the separation of fixed-line incumbent Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC), has been officially launched as a provider of wholesale telecoms services, reports the Sunday Standard. The newly created state-owned company is responsible for operating the country's nationwide backbone infrastructure, including the Trans-Kalahari fibre-optic network and the Gaborone-Francistown loop and managing the government's participation in the inmate Africa Submarine System (EASSy) and the West Africa Cable System (WACS). BoFINET will serve telecoms companies such as BTC and mobile operators Mascom Wireless and Orange.

TeleGeographys GlobalComms Database notes that the separation of BTC into a retail service provider (BTC Limited) and an infrastructure company (BoFINET) is an initial step towards the planned privatisation of BTC Limited, which will see up to 49% of the company's shares sold via an initial public offering (IPO).


6 Jun 2013

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner, BOCRA, considers the introduction of national roaming

The Botswana Communications Regulations Authority (BOCRA) has hired a consultant and researcher, Intelcon, to conduct a feasibility study on the potential introduction of national roaming in the country Biztech Africa reports. National roaming was made mandatory in 1998 following mobile operators Orange Botswana and Mascom Wireless. Still, it was suspended indefinitely in 2000 after determining that it was not promoting infrastructure competition in the market. BOCRA, which was formed on 1 April 2013 from the merger of the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) and National Broadcasting Board (NBB), is now seeking to assess the market to establish whether the suspension of national roaming remains relevant in the current landscape. BOCRA CEO Thari Pheko said the regulatory consultancy was necessary to solicit input from stakeholders before the watchdog decides on regulatory interventions on the issue.


27 Jun 2012

Botswana launches WACS link.

Landlocked Botswana has inaugurated its link to the West African Cable System (WACS), which was launched last month and stretched 14,900km along the west coast of Africa, reports AFP. Botswana partnered with neighbouring Namibia to raise USD37.5 million to invest in a 9.2% stake in the cable consortium. Under the WACS open access policy, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) will co-locate services within the Swakopmund landing station operated by Telecom Namibia.

The USD750 million WACS submarine cable has a capacity of 5.12Tbps. It links South Africa to the UK with landings in Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, the Canary Islands and Portugal.


22 Jun 2012

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner Mascom pilots LTE technology.

Mascom Wireless, Botswana's largest mobile operator by subscribers, last week launched the country's first 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) pilot, reports The Tswana Times. At the same time, the company said it had launched an initiative to increase ICT penetration across Botswana by boosting the coverage and capacity of its 2.5G EDGE and 3.5G HSPA networks. Total capital expenditure for the network upgrades and the LTE pilot is around BWP100 million (USD12.8 million). As a regulator, we find these developments to be very encouraging and a step in the right direction in line with the service- and technology-neutral licence awarded to Mascom in 2007, commented Thari G. Pheko, chief executive of telecoms regulator the Botswana Telecommunications Authority, adding: The award of the service-neutral support authorises Mascom to provide all forms of telecommunications services and to extend their existing network coverage as far as their vision desires. We believe that this investment in their network will allow Mascom to continue to grow its portfolio of products and services, especially those that target internet penetration.


16 May 2012

Gateway steps up terrestrial network initiative.

Pan-African telecoms service supplier Gateway Communications has announced that it has brought additional capacity from submarine cable SAT-3 to landlocked Botswana via South Africa under its Southern African Development Community (SADC) initiative. Country Manager Derek Friend said Customers can now access high speed, reliable connectivity, which will help to improve Botswana's economic sectors, including mining, tourism and agriculture. Gateway has also revealed that more routes are being added to the networks already created in Zambia and Malawi during the initial phase of its terrestrial network initiative.

A new path, utilising SAT-3 and SEACOM connectivity, has been developed to provide Zambia with a fully redundant way through Zimbabwe. During the next few months, Gateway will be extending its terrestrial network by deploying another link into Malawi through the eastern border town of Mulanje. Under the project's next step, Gateway aims to bring additional capacity to Mauritius by connecting the island via SAFE to a neutral data centre facility in South Africa and then onward to Europe via EASSy and SAT-3. This will connect Mauritius to Africa and allow the country to connect internationally using Gateways pan-African MPLS network and international peering stations in London, UK. Through this innovative project, we will make sure that the benefits of high-speed services are available to everyone using our pan-African network, commented Mike van den Bergh, CEO of Gateway Communications, adding: This brings us closer to our goal of ensuring that every country in Africa has access to cost-effective and reliable capacity.


1 May 2012

WACS on, hats off to African submarine bandwidth.

The West African Cable System (WACS) will be officially launched on 11 May 2012, its management has announced. The Africa-Europe undersea system will be the first direct connection to international submarine cable networks for Namibia, Togo, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The new fibre-optic route will also link South Africa, Angola, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Cote d'Ivoire, Cape Verde, Canary Islands, Portugal and the UK with a design capacity of 5.12Tbps.

Other countries can access bandwidth on the system, including landlocked Botswana, which partnered with Namibia to raise USD37.5 million to invest in a 9.2% stake in the cable consortium. Under the WACS open access policy, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) will co-locate services within the landing station operated by Telecom Namibia. Other stakeholders in the USD650 million high-speed cable project include Angola Cable, Broadband Infraco, Cable and Wireless Worldwide, Cabo Verde Telecom, Congo Telecom (formerly Sotelco), MTN Group, Portugal Telecom, Societe Congolaise des Postes et Telecommunications (SCPT), Tata Communications, Telkom South Africa, Togo Telecom, Vodacom Group and Vodafone Spain.


24 Oct 2011

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner, Orange expands the 3G network.

Orange Botswana, the country's second-largest mobile operator by subscribers, has expanded its third-generation network to the cities of Lobatse and Serowe, reports cellular news. TeleGeographys GlobalComms Database states that Orange Botswana commercially launched its 3G network in July 2009, with services initially available in the country's two largest cities, Gaborone and Francistown.


23 Mar 2011

Botswana hires advisors ahead of BTC privatisation.

Botswana newspaper, the Sunday Standard, has reported that a consortium of members from Deloittes and local law firm Collins Newman & Co has been hired to advise on the privatisation of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC). The pair won the tender, launched late last year, beating off competition from four other local consortiums. Their role as advisors will be to undertake an evaluation of BTC assets, develop due diligence, build a structure of shares, and ensure transaction closures at BTC, the Public Enterprises Evaluation and Privatisation Agency (PEEPA) stated.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in November 2010 president of Botswana, Ian Khama, confirmed plans to privatise incumbent telco BTC through an initial public offering (IPO) by April 2011. Under the sale plans, a 49% stake will be sold to investors and BTC employees, while the government will retain the remaining 51%. Shares will be sold to citizens in stages because the government will first repurchase them when investors wish to dispose of their claims.


16 Mar 2011

SEACOM expands its network to five different countries. 16 Mar 2011

East African submarine cable operator SEACOM has announced that its services are now accessible from five other African nations: Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe. The network expansion is coupled with increasing resilience through its recent acquisition of east and west coast submarine cable capacity.

SEACOMs approach of partnering with established players to provide broadband services will continue as it develops its products and services based on resiliency, service quality and flexibility in line with customers evolving needs.


15 Oct 2010

beMobile recovers after SIM registration causes a dip in mobile subs.

Botswana's third largest cellco by subscribers, BTC Mobile, which provides services under the beMobile brand, is approaching the 300,000 customer mark. Local news source Mmegi Online reports that a SIM registration exercise launched by the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) caused the mobiles user base to dip late last year. Commenting on the decline, BTCs general manager of commercial service, Anthony Masunga, said: We have recovered now, and our customers have grown to just under 300,000 since the beginning of the year from 200,000 in October last year. According to TeleGeographys GlobalComms Database, Botswana's incumbent telco Botswana Telecoms Corporation (BTC) was awarded its first service- and technology-neutral public telephony operator (PTO) licence in March 2007, allowing it to provide mobile and fixed telephony and internet services under a single concession. A new arm of the company, BTC Mobile, was subsequently formed, and complete commercial GSM-900/1800MHz services were launched in April 2008.


6 May 2010

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner, BTC, embarks on the second phase of the rural telephony programme.

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) has launched the second phase of its rural telephony project, dubbed Nteletsa II, aimed at providing telecoms services to almost 200 villages for the first time, local news source Mmegi Online reports. The project forms part of the government's Rural Telecommunications Development Programme, which hopes to boost the nation's teledensity by improving access to voice and data services in rural areas. Under Nteletsa II, telecoms infrastructure and services were extended to 197 villages in Chobe, Ghantsi, Kgalagadi, Central, Kgatleng, North West and Kweneng. The fulfilment of the Nteletsa project will bring remote areas in Botswana together through telecommunications services, noted Keabetswe Segole, acting CEO of BTC, adding, Funding this project is a promising sign of the government's dedication to bringing all of Botswana into 21st-century communications.

BTC is glad to be the country's vehicle towards improved telecommunication availability. The Nteletsa project began in 1999 when BTC was awarded an exclusive contract for the rural telephony project. The first areas to be connected were Tuli Block and Barolong, followed by Tswapong, Ngwaketse, Kweneng, and the Southern and North East districts. In 2008 the government awarded Nteletsa II contracts to BTC and mobile operator Mascom Wireless and local consortium Kuto Lamworld Telenet.


12 Jan 2010

BTA extends the SIM registration deadline.

The Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) has pushed back the deadline for the nation's mobile subscribers to register their SIM cards, the Sunday Standard reports. Pre-paid customers of Botswana's three wireless operators, Mascom Wireless, Orange Botswana and BTC Mobile (mobile), were given until 31 December 2009 to register their SIMs or face the disconnection of their service.

Still, the deadline has since been extended to 31 January 2010. According to BTA spokesperson Aaron Nyelesi, 85% of mobile users have registered their details, 45% of which hathe system has not yet processed 45%y We are presently converting information that we captured from paper to electronic database. He added that after the process is complete, we will cut off the customers who have not registered. The BTA hopes that the registration of numbers will help the country better plan and expand the telecoms industry and help curb crime. From 1 January 2010, new pay-as-you-go SIMs will be activated only after electronic registration.


6 Jan 2010

BTA: two million pre-paid mobile users register their details.

The director of communications and public relations at the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA), Twoba Koontse, has revealed that over two million of the country's pre-paid mobile subscribers have registered their phone numbers. Pre-paid customers of Botswana's three wireless operators. Mascom Wireless, Orange Botswana and BTC Mobile (mobile) were given until 31 December 2009 to register their SIM cards or face their disconnection services. From 1 January 2010, new pay-as-you-go SIMs will be activated only after electronic registration. Koontse added that the registration of numbers would help the country better plan and expand the telecoms industry and help curb crime.


12 Nov 2009

BTC selects Ceragon solution to meet expansion plans.

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) has selected wireless backhaul solutions provider Ceragon Networks to upgrade its nationwide wireless backbone and the backhaul network of mobile unit beMobile. Ceragon's FibeAir solutions will enable the operator to meet its service expansion plans and support rapid subscriber growth. The deployments will help BTC complete the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTAs) Rural Services Improvement and Expansion project, network deployments expected to be finished by year-end. To succeed in the dense telecom market of Botswana, it was essential for us to select a backhaul solution that will ensure high-quality service delivery at a competitive price, a BTC spokesperson commented, adding, Ceragon has proven to be a great partner, combining superb technology with excellent customer support. With a high-capacity wireless network that we can depend on, beMobile is set to meet the goal of doubling its market share in Botswana.


16 Oct 2009

BTC commits to backbone investment.

Botswanas incumbent fixed-line operator Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) will invest around USD5 million over the next three years to enhance the country's internet backbone via subsidiary BOTSGATE, local daily Mmegi Online reports. The funds will be used to improve network performance and boost capacity. BOTSGATE is Botswana's only internet access provider with international connectivity to several submarines' fibre-optic cables.

The report adds that BTC has seen a 40% reduction in the cost of internet bandwidth due to regulatory changes in South Africa; The regulatory permutation has created favourable economies of scale for BTC and this cost-benefit is being passed on to our customers, a statement from the telco said.


21 Sep 2009

BTA: Registration of pre-paid mobile users is slow.

Only 13% of Botswana's pre-paid mobile phone users have registered their SIM cards, despite the deadline of 31 December 2009 fast approaching, writes local newspaper the Sunday Standard, citing the Botswana Telecommunications Agency (BTAs) public relations officer Twoba Koontse. According to Koontse, only 267,113 pre-paid cell phone subscribers have registered since the BTA made the process mandatory from 15 September 2008. I am obviously not happy as the numbers of those who have registered now are far below what we expected to have registered by now, he commented.

The BTA has asked the country's three wireless operators, Mascom Wireless, Orange Botswana and beMOBILE, to launch campaigns to inform customers about the importance of registering their phones, and has warned users that it maintains its stance to disconnect all unregistered pre-paid mobile lines after 31 December.


22 Jul 2009

Orange Botswana selects Volubill for the mobile data billing contract.

Orange Botswana has selected charging and policy control solutions provider to deploy a billing platform to unify charging and access control for all mobile broadband access, MMS and e-mail services. The solution handles subscriber usage of IP services including data, content, messaging, voice-over-IP (VoIP) and downloads. It also provides deep packet inspection (DPI), access control, policy and traffic shaping, and user experience management for simple internet access and content-rich services.

Botswana's telecoms market has grown so fast that operators like Orange Botswana are encountering many of the operational challenges that more established-market providers have been facing for years, said John Aalbers, adding, In choosing CHARGE-IT for increased control of pricing and charging policies for advanced service packages, Orange Botswana is better equipped to continue providing a high-quality experience and compelling pricing packages to their subscribers.


14 Jul 2009

BTC Mobile to turn a profit "by the end of the year"

Botswana's third largest cellco by subscribers BTC Mobile is set to turn a profit by the end of 2009, writes local news source Mmegi Online, citing Thapelo Lippe, head of incumbent telco and parent of BTC Mobile, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC). BTC Mobile launched complete commercial services in April 2008 under the beMOBILE brand. Lippe said it would produce profits before the end of this year, even against the hard economic recession, without mentioning any financial details.

He added that the company is rapidly expanding its infrastructure to keep up with the competition, reaching over 100 cellular towers within one year of launching operations. According to the TeleGeographys GlobalComms database, the mobile market in Botswana is home to three operators, market leader Mascom Wireless, which held 58.7% market share on 31 March 2009, followed by Orange Botswana (37.3%) and BTC Mobile (4%).


17 Feb 2009

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner, Orange, selects Alvarion for WiMAX deployment.

The country's second-largest second-large stripers, Orange Botswana, have contracted Alvarion for a turnkey WiMAX deployment, using Alvarions WiMAX 4Motion end-to-end solution. Alvarion will also provide Orange Botswana with project management and implementation services, including network planning, network dimensioning, installation, technical support and professional services. Alvarion's commercial network, which operates in the 2.5GHz frequency band, has enabled Orange to provide advanced data services to businesses and homes in the country's two largest cities, Gaborone and Francistown. The first network was launched in June 2008 in the capital Gaborone, one of the fastest-growing cities in Africa. Following the successful deployment, Orange Botswana increased the coverage in Gaborone and launched a second network in Francistown in November 2008.

Future extensions of the networks are planned in other areas throughout the country. Wilfried Yver of Orange Botswana said: Alvarions innovative technology and complete offering enables us to answer the immediate need for high quality yet reasonably priced internet access in the country's urban areas. Our subscribers are already enjoying the benefits of the technology, and we are very interested in the new opportunities 802.16e WiMAX could bring to this market.


19 Sep 2008

Net spread inks WiMAX deals with Airspan.

Net spread, an ISP, has selected Airspan Networks to provide WiMAX infrastructure. The operator, which has operations in eight cities throughout Botswana, recently received an exclusive licence in the 5.4GHz band to offer wireless broadband services. Net spread says it has already started deploying MicroMAX base stations and Prost customer premises equipment. No financial details have been disclosed.


22 Aug 2008

Mascom launches 3G into Bostwana.

Mascom Wireless has introduced 3G and 3.5G services after launching EDGE services last year. Chief Marketing Officer Dzene Makhwade-Seboni said the company had invested BWP50 million (USD7.72 million) to upgrade its network for the service, which will initially be available in the greater Gaborone area. Richard Luz, Chief Operations Officer, said Mascom would expand the network to Francistown in the next few months before extending the service to other urban areas.


14 Jul 2008

BTA to make SIM registration mandatory.

The Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA) has repeated its desire to press ahead with mandatory registration of all pre-paid mobile phone SIM cards, beginning 15 September 2008.

After 31 December 2009, the end of the sign-up period, the watchdog says it will disconnect all unregistered lines. ON WEDNESDAY, BTA CEO Thari Pheko told a news conference that registration is intended to track down criminals using mobile phones to commit crimes.


9 Jun 2008

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner, BTC awards a multi-million dollar deal to Tech Mahindra.

Indian telecoms solutions provider Tech Mahindra (TechM) says it has been awarded a three-year multi-million dollar deal by state-owned national fixed-line operator Botswana Telecoms Corporation (BTC) to provide end-to-end system integration services for its mobile, internet and fixed-line businesses. In a three-stage deal, TechM will implement an Operations and Business Support Systems (OSS/BSS) stack for BTCs mobile start-up BeMobile (in phase I) before rolling out a converged solution for mobile internet and fixed-line telephony under phases II & III.


28 Apr 2008

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner launches BTC Mobile.

State-owned incumbent Botswana Telecoms Corporation (BTC) has launched mobile phone services following a successful trial and evaluation period. Preparations for the mobile offering began last November with the company's staff. Previous month BTC issued 15,000 free SIM cards to its fixed-line customers to test its network capacity. Users were encouraged to call as much as they could to one another and fix lines to ensure that the infrastructure could handle the volume of calls.

BTC Mobile will compete with existing cellcos, Mascom and Orange, who also rely on BTCs national backbone for carrying long-distance traffic. It remains to be seen if the grid can handle three networks.

The Botswana Telecoms Authority (BTA) awarded BTC a service-neutral licence last year, launching mobile services. Neutral concessions were also granted to Mascom and Orange, allowing them to enter the fixed-line market. However, they have yet to reveal plans to do so, and for the time being, at least, BTC retains a wireline monopoly.


15 Apr 2008

BTC mobile launch this month.

Incumbent telco Botswana Telecoms Corporation (BTC) will be launching mobile services this month, according to its PR head James Molosankwe. He explained that the law would certainly be this month, even though I will not disclose the date, but…it will take place. BTC started network tests last November by giving staff free SIM cards. The trials were later extended to selected customers in Gaborone and Francistown, where the first services will be available. Molosankwe said that BTC subscribers would not be able to call customers of the country's two existing cellcos, Mascom and Orange, until the system's functionalities were established.

In March last year, the Botswana Telecoms Authority (BTA) granted the BTC a 15-year service neutral licence, allowing the incumbent to provide mobile and fixed telephony and internet services under a single concession. Mascom and Orange were awarded similar claims in the following months, allowing them to compete with BTC in the fixed-line arena. According to the TeleGeographys GlobalComms database, Botswana was home to nearly 1.43 million mobile subscribers at the end of 2007, of which Mascom had a 61% share and Orange the remainder.


2 Aug 2007

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner Mascom rolls out mobile internet roaming.

Mascom Wireless has launched a new GPRS/EDGE-based mobile internet service. It plans to make the application accessible to users beyond its network footprint and outside Botswana via network roaming, according to the company's Chief Marketing Officer, Dzene Makhwade-Seboni. She said that internet access is available to contract and pre-paid Mascom subscribers via laptops, desktop PCs, USB modems or GPRS/EDGE compatible phones.


16 Apr 2007

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner, Orange was awarded a neutral service license.

Despite having previously stated that it was not interested in a new neutral licence, Orange Botswana became the second telephone operator to receive one yesterday. The 15-year concession, granted by the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA), will allow Orange to provide all forms of communications services, regardless of transmission, enabling the operator to set up its international gateway and deploy its infrastructure. Orange has hitherto had to rely on incumbent BTCs network and has frequently complained of its poor reliability. Mr Thari Pheko, CEO of BTA, said it was encouraging for the market to be moving towards fixed-mobile convergence and urged Orange to introduce new services so that the benefits under the new licensing framework could be realised as soon as possible, with enhanced competition and customer choice. A month ago, the BTA granted BTC a neutral service licence.

Mr Theko revealed that cellco Mascom has also applied for the new request, and its application is being processed. Mr Keabetswe Segole, the acting CEO for Orange Botswana, said Orange was ready and eager to compete within their new licence's parameters and spirit. According to TeleGeographys GlobalComms database, Botswana's mobile subscriber base was just over a million strong at the end of 2006, with Mascom commanding around 60%.


23 Mar 2007

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner, BTC Partner, was awarded a first service-neutral license.

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) has become the first telco to be awarded the new service-neutral public telephony operator (PTO) licence by the regulator Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA). The grant permitted the provision of any telecoms service regardless of the method of transmission and was first announced by the government last June. BTC applied for the 15-year concession as soon as possible, in September 2006, but it was only earlier this month that the BTA announced it was ready to receive applications. It is expected that incumbent monopoly wireline operator BTC, which had 132,034 subscribers at the end of 2006, will launch a mobile service to compete with existing cellcos Mascom and Orange Botswana. The two cellcos have indicated that they will not be applying for the new concession, as they see no potential profit in going up against BTC in the contracting fixed-line market.


12 Feb 2007

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner, BTC, initiates the Tswapong project

Incumbent telco Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) has launched its government-backed Tswapong Rural Telecom Project, which will bring communications to seven hitherto unserved villages in the Tswapong area in the east. BTC and the government have been jointly funding rural projects such as this since 1999. BTC, the sole wireline operator, claimed 136,463 customers at the end of 2005.


12 Jan 2007

Advisors sought telco privatisation

The government of Botswana has embarked on the first stage of its plan to partly privatise Botswana Telecommunications Corporation by requesting expressions of interest for advisory services. Joshua Galeforolwe, CEO of the country's Public Enterprise Evaluation and Privatisation Agency, told Engineering News Online that the closing date for applications for the advisory service role is 15 January and that the government hoped to select a strategic equity partner to take control of between 40% and 49% of the telco by the end of 2007.


30 Aug 2006

Fixed-line subscriptions fall, the mobile market expands.

According to the Botswana Telecoms Authority (BTA), fixed-line subscriptions fell by 3.2% in March 2006, from 136,423 to 132,034. Mobile subscribers increased by 42.5% in the same period, from 577,437 to 823,070. Half the population of 1.7 million now own a mobile phone. According to the Telegeographys GlobalComms database, Mascom Wireless led the mobile market with 497,000 subscribers, ahead of Orange Botswana with 327,000 customers at the end of March. Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) is the sole fixed-line operator in the country.


14 Aug 2006

Government issues liberalisation plans.

The Botswanan government has published liberalisation plans for the telecommunications industry. Since 1 August 2006, all restrictions on VoIP services have been lifted, allowing ISPs to offer voice calls in competition with fixed-line incumbent BTC and wireless operators Mascom and Orange. At the same date, the two wireless operators were permitted to begin building their backbone infrastructure, ending their reliance on BTC. From the start of September 2006, fixed-line and cellular operators will be allowed to apply for service-neutral licenses, which will permit them to provide all telecommunications services irrespective of whether the service is transmitted via wireline or wireless networks, while new entrants will be allowed to tender for rural or district level service-neutral licences; newcomers will be allowed to apply for national grants from December 2009.

Finally, from the start of October 2006, new players will be permitted to provide international switching and transmission of voice services, a market currently a monopoly to BTC.


7 Apr 2006

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner Mascom awards Ericsson 1800MHz network contract.

Mascom, the largest cellular operator in Botswana, has awarded Ericsson a EUR1.2 million contract to add a 1800MHz spectrum to its network as part of its strategy to improve the quality of its service and provide a platform for future growth. Under the agreement, Ericsson will supply 30 new 1800MHz base stations, starting in Gaborone and Francistown, and spreading to other parts of the country later in the year. The first base stations are expected to go live in May. The deal follows hard on the heels of a contract awarded last year under which Ericsson supplied equipment and software needed to support the addition of services such as high-speed data and Multimedia Messaging (MMS).

With nearly 500,000 subscribers, Mascom is the largest mobile network in Botswana. The operators rapid growth, particularly in the urban areas, has meant that it has been forced to deploy a dual-band network to increase capacity. The Botswanan telecom regulator the BTA granted Mascom access to 1800MHz spectrum in December 2005.


25 Jan 2006

Telkom SA plans to expand into Botswana.

South African fixed-line incumbent Telkom has announced plans to expand into Botswana, as well as Angola, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Kenya. According to Telkom spokeswoman Lulu Letlape, the company is considering investing in state-owned monopoly Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC), privatised this year.

Botswana currently has two mobile operators Mascom Wireless and Orange Botswana which shared 653,000 subscribers at the end of September. BTC had 131,774 fixed-line customers at the end of 2004.


23 Nov 2005

MTNs Mascom purchase runs into delays.

South African-owned mobile group MTNs USD128 million bid to buy a 44% stake in Botswanas largest cellco, Mascom Wireless, has not yet been finalised; the sale is still subject to arbitration Mascom officials. Furthermore, complications have arisen surrounding Mascom's 60% stakeholder DECI Investments. DECIs two main shareholders, Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) and Botswana Insurance Fund Management (BIFM) have fallen out because BPOPF believes it had the first refusal for BIFM shares in DECI under a shareholders agreement, according to Reuters. DECI said that no deal with another investor could be agreed upon until the matter was settled and no shares transferred. However, BPOPF was in talks to sell its stake in DECI, it said. Mascom is 40%-owned by Econet Wireless, which recently broke off a partnership in Botswana with Altech over its alleged links with Vodacom, MTNs rival in the South African market.

As MTN shares rose on news of its latest planned acquisition, South African analysts debated whether the company was paying too much for the Botswana operator. The country has around 600,000 subscribers, 425,000 of which are Mascom customers, with the remainder controlled by Orange Botswana. Cellular penetration has reached 35% this year, and there are questions over how much growth potential there is in the country of 1.8 million people.


27 May 2005

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner, Mascom Wireless, picks Subex Systems.

Mascom Wireless Botswana has selected Subex Systems, a global telecom software company based in India, to deploy its RevMax TM revenue maximisation suite, including its Fraud Management System and Revenue Assurance System, to reduce revenue leakage on its network. Studies show that mobile operators can lose as much as 10% of their revenues through criminal activities such as fraud. However, only 27% of the world's network operators currently employs any form of revenue maximisation system.


7 Apr 2005

Ministrys report criticises Botswanas telecoms development.

Botswanas Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology has published a report that concludes the country's telecoms sector has been unable to leverage communications technology to help improve the population's lives reduce poverty. The report argues that despite possessing extensive communications infrastructure and a relatively strong fiscal position, Botswana belongs to a group of developing countries that are neither involved in…technology innovation nor its diffusion at any significant level.


BTC gets ready for privatisation next year. 7 Mar 2005

State-owned telco the Botswana Telecommunications Corporation (BTC) will be privatised in 2006, according to its CEO Vincent Seretse. He reported on Friday that international consultants McKinsey are carrying out a diagnostic study on BTC to draw up a list of recommendations for the sell-off and post-privatisation strategy in the form of a five-to-ten year roadmap. Seretse added that the move would go hand-in-hand with further market liberalisation in Botswana. BTC currently holds a fixed-line voice telephony monopoly; data and ISP services were liberalised in 1996.


24 Sep 2004

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner BTC to launch new broadband services.

State-owned fixed-line operator Botswana Telecommunication Corporation (BTC) has revealed plans to launch two new broadband offerings. The first service is an ADSL offering which it has been trialling since May 2004, while the second is a VSAT network which it began deploying in July. It plans to launch both services commercially in October.


1 Jun 2004

The way the land lies.

According to Aron Nyeledzi of the Botswana Telecommunications Agency (BTA), at the end of February 2004, there were 518,013 wireless subscribers and 133,740 fixed lines in the country. Botswana is home to 15 internet service providers.


1 Apr 2003

Ariel Technologies Botswanas Network Partner, Orange rebrands mobile unit in Botswana.

Botswanan mobile operator Vista Cellular has been renamed Orange to align with its parent company's brand name. France Teléeoms Orange also has mobile operations in Cameroon, Côte d'Ivoire, Egypt and Madagascar and at the end of 2002 had a combined African subscriber base of 2.6 million.


Arivia.kom on target with maiden results


Investing in diversity in human capital is at the core of arivia. Eskom's employment

policy and its strategic alliance with Top Women in Business and Government are further testaments to its commitment to growth through diversity in its operations and the upliftment of women at the grassroots level through its numerous CSI policies.


RFID institute endorsed arivia.kom asset management system providers


IT solutions company arivia.kom has increased its foothold in the European market with international acclaim for the service quality of its subsidiary, Face Technologies.


The Botswana Ministry of Agriculture and

Ariel Technologies Botswana signed off a R5,9-million contract.


CEO for arivia.Kom appointed, the Minister of Public Enterprises, Jeff Radebe, has

announced the appointment of Zeth Malele as chief executive officer of arivia.com, the new state-owned information technology company.


Eskom, arivia.com sign an R1 billion outsourcing contract, Eskom has announced a

continuation in its relationship with arivia. com with the signing of a service level agreement contract worth over R1 billion to address Eskom's IT requirements to the end of 2005.


Arivia.kom to renew Ariba contract with

Transnet, SAA arivia.Kom (arivia), a South African IT solutions company, has secured a contract renewal deal with Transnet and SAA. The renewal is said to be worth a total of R6.7 million (US$1 million) and will end in March next year.


arivia, the state-owned information technology

firm, said yesterday it had clinched a five-year deal to implement and maintain 2 400 tiny aperture terminal (VSAT) satellite sites for A national lottery. arivia.com Nigeria signed the deal was worth between $21 million and $40 million, the company said.


T-Systems SA will double its turnover and staff complement as a result of its acquisition of IT company Arivia.kom from state-owned enterprises Eskom and Transnet.

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