TELECOMS, RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage (briefs)

- Econet Wireless has commenced its mobile operations in Burundi, as it connects its subscribers for a one-month network testing, which will take place in 16 provinces. Yanick Mugisha, the brand manager at Econet reportedly said that the operator’s plan was to have a subscriber base of 100,000 in the first month.

- BlackBerry customers in South Africa will not be able to use BlackBerry App World until a local version is available, which is expected in the coming months. We will of course keep you posted when BlackBerry App World launches in South Africa so you can try it out yourself.

- MTN has partnered with Garmap, the leading provider of satellite navigation and mapping services in South Africa, to provide the next generation of Garmap’s mobile phone navigation - Garmap for Mobile Online - on BlackBerry® smartphones.

- The central African nation of Burundi was home to 480,000 mobile subscribers at the end of 2008, up 78% on the 270,000 reported the previous year, according to data published by the national telecoms regulator, Agence de Régulation et de Contrôle des Telecom (ARCT). U-Com claimed the lion’s share with 344,830 users as at 31 December 2008, with the remainder split between its three rivals.

- As of April 2009, TradeNet is changing its name to Esoko. Along with its new name comes a host of new features being released throughout 2009. Starting in June, this will include a cleaner and easier to use interface, a java version for mobile phones, and a suite of new tools for tracking and polling data (like weather, inventory, transport, crop activities etc).

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