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Five things to watch April 8: Singtel denies rumours of Opus tower sale, Nigeria completes 5G trial amid Covid-19 concerns, and Portuguese court to seizes dos Santos’ assets

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Capacity shares 5 key stories from around the world making headlines today!

SEA-ME-WE 4 experiences faults in the Mediterranean

As of 6 April, the Mediterranean portion of the SEA-ME-WE 4 subsea cable reportedly experienced a fault.

According to a Twitter post by @philBE2, a subsea cable enthusiast, the cable ship CS Raymond Croze busy was seen tracking the SEA-ME-WE 4 cable fault within the repair grounds boundaries filed with the Navarea III Spanish naval authority.

 The story was then later supported by Orange’s Jean-Luc Vuillemin who tweeted an image of the cable ship with the caption:

“Nice photo of Raymond Croze d'@orange leaving the harbor of Toulon for an urgent repair of the SeaMeWe 4.”

Singtel denies rumours of Opus tower sale

Singtel is downplaying the rumours that it intends to sell its tower assets to Opus for $1.2 billion (AUD2 billion).

In a statement to the Singapore Stock Exchange the company said:

“Singtel regularly reviews its options to optimise its assets and operating model. Singtel wishes to empathise that there is no certainty or assurance that any transaction will occur. If, and when, there are any material developments that warrant disclosure, Singtel will, in compliance with applicable rules, make further announcements as appropriate.”

The announcement follows an article published by the Business Times on 3 April.

Huawei joins Open Invention Network

Huawei has become a member of the Open Invention Network (OIN).

OIN is a 3,200 strong community of licensees that practice patent non-aggression in core Linux and adjacent open source technologies.

“As a global leader in ICT infrastructure, and a company with a significant intellectual property portfolio, we appreciate Huawei joining OIN and supporting patent non-aggression in the core of Linux and adjacent OSS,” said Keith Bergelt, CEO of Open Invention Network.

The news makes Huawei the first major Chinese company to embrace open source software (OSS) and reinforcing its commitment to OSS as an enabler of advanced communications systems.

“By joining the Open Invention Network, we are demonstrating our continued commitment to innovation, and supporting it with patent non-aggression in Linux and other core open source projects,” said Jianxin Ding, head of global intellectual property at Huawei

Nigeria completes 5G trial amid Covid-19 concerns

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) has issued a statement following the completion of its 5G trials, assuring the public that no 5G licences have been issued.

The move comes as the regulator has increasingly witnessed growing public concern about the health impact of 5G in Nigeria.

A 3-month study trial began back in November 2019 and found that ‘there is no correlation between 5G Technology and COVID-19. 5G is an advancement on today's 4G technology, designed to transform the world positively.’

Adding that since the trial concluded the installation had been decommissioned and no 5G licence have been issued.

At the time, President Muhammadu Buhari, said:

“[The] Government will not act on the speculations only, but rather we will take an informed decision on 5G after due consultation with experts and the public. I have also directed the NCC to engage citizens on any questions or concerns they may have regarding 5G.”

Portuguese court to seizes dos Santos’ assets

Isabel dos Santos’s telecoms company NOS SGPS has a court order against it for the “preventive seizure” of a 26% stake in its business.

According to Bloomberg, ZOPT SGPS the company that holds 52% of Lisbon-based NOS, received a notice from the court on the seizure of half of that stake, as confirmed in a regulatory filing on Saturday.

The news follows the Luanda Leaks revelation where more than 700,000 documents were leaked by the Platform to Protect Whistle-blowers in Africa and shared with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) detailing how dos Santos came about her business empire including presidential orders she reportedly benefitted from, amassing her $2 billion fortune.

As result she has been accused of exploiting her country and her position as the daughter of the former president of Angola, Jose Eduardo.

One such company caught in the scandal is Angola’s largest telco, Unitel, which she is its biggest shareholder. In one of the Luanda Leaks documents it shows Santos having arranged for Unitel to lend €350 million to a company she started called Unitel International Holdings. 

As of January of this year, dos Santos has officially been accused if fraud by Angola’s attorney general Helder Pitta Gros.