In my final post of 2008, I praised the determined spirit of the many telecoms people I've met from markets notable for political turmoil and other major challenges. I noted how we at the Com World Series had experienced late changes of venue and dates for events in Kenya and India, the former as a result of unrest, the latter due to the terrorist attacks on Mumbai.
It would therefore be refreshing to enter the new year without reading about how the telecoms sector is coping in some trouble spot. Alas, today's newsletter from TelecomPaper comes with word of how "Paltel Group, the provider of fixed and mobile telecommunications in the Palestinian territories, has warned that Gaza could be disconnected from the outside world as a result of the Israeli air strikes and ground assault in Gaza." The report says that currently, 90% percent of the mobile service network is down, in addition to a 'huge' number of fixed lines, either due to direct damage or because of the loss of electricity.