Arrests over telco power thefts
TELECOMS| April 9, 2012, 11:03 a.m.
By Edith Mwale, Lusaka, Zambia
Police in Zambia have arrested three people in connection with theft of generator starter batteries, hybrid batteries and fuel from Airtel’s telecom towers.
The theft which occurred about two weeks ago, led to the disruption and degradation of the company’s network in various parts of the country. In the capital Lusaka alone about 19 different cases of thefts of either fuel or batteries from the towers were recorded late last month.
The total loss incurred by the company through the thefts amounts to USD60, 000 in just one month, according to Fayaz King, Airtel managing director.
Other affected areas of thefts across the country include Northern, Central and Eastern Provinces. The power supply (UPS) batteries are used during power outages to run network towers.
Some of the stolen batteries from different Airtel towers around Lusaka were recovered last week by police after the company reported the matter to the police.
Airtel's customer service director, Joseph Kafwariman, said at Chawama Police Station where the batteries were displayed that there had been rampant thefts of the UPS batteries at tower sites around the country.
Kafwariman said the thefts “were frustrating efforts of the company to deliver quality service through environmentally friendly energy.”
The batteries, Kafwariman said helps provide energy for a good three hours in the event that power from the national grid is interrupted.
Kafwariman urged the general public to help curb vandalism of company’s property in order for the company to provide quality services. He commended the swift action by the police in apprehending the culprits.
Police spokesperson, Elizabath Kanjela said the three suspects who were arrested on March 29 were believed to have been contracted by a Lusaka firm to install the said batteries.
However, other batteries that have been stolen around the country have not yet been recovered and the thieves are still at large.
MORE TELECOMS NEWS
TNM courts trouble with investment prospects in ISPTNM, one of Malawi's two mobile telecommunication services providers, has courted trouble with its announcement of plans to invest in the provision of ‘generic’ Internet Service Provider (ISP) operations. Read More
Tigo deploys overhead fibre in GhanaTigo Ghana has embarked on an overhead fibre project in some parts of the country in a bid to reduce damage to its cables. Read More
Bharti Airtel appoints Dr. Titus Naikuni as Chairman, Airtel KenyaBharti Airtel has announced the appointment of Dr. Titus Naikuni as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Airtel Kenya. Read More
NCC descends on Lagos firmThe Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has descended on Owntel Communications for allegedly offering telecommunications services for which it was not licensed. Read More
BTCL wraps up nationwide employee road showsAs part of the overarching awareness activities ahead of the much-anticipated Initial Public Offering (IPO) of Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTCL), the company has successfully completed a nationwide employee road show. Read More
Gabon Telecom striking employees threaten disruptionGabon Telecom employees who have been on strike since last week over pay increases, bonuses and housing allowances, are now threatening to disrupt the company operations. Read More
How service quality can improve: NCCNigeria’s NCC says quality of service problems are caused by too much traffic on networks, and operators have been urged to keep expanding their capacity. Read More
Mobile subscriptions in Africa near billion markMobile subscriptions in Africa passed 880 million in Q3 of 2014 with a 77 percent mobile penetration, says Ericsson’s latest Mobility Report. Read More
Apple commends Glo on iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus launchThe creative management of the launch of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in Nigeria by Globacom has earned commendation from Apple, manufacturer of high end smartphones. Read More
Africell DRC’s free calls delight users despite lack of interconnectionDespite its lack of interconnection, Africell’s low rates make it a popular choice for DRC subscribers. Read More
FEATURED STORYGSMA: half a billion mobile subscribers in SSA by 2020
The number of unique mobile subscribers in Sub-Saharan Africa will pass the half billion mark in 2020, says a new GSMA report.
BEST READ NEWS
IN DEPTHAfrica lags on digital migration
Only three African countries have so far completed the digital migration process, and serious issues are hampering the migration in other nations.