TELECOMS, RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms Rates, Offers and Coverage (briefs)

* Lagos — In the spirit of the celebration of Nigeria's 50th independent anniversary, Etisalat Nigeria, one of the four GSM telecommunications companies in Nigeria, said it has slashed its call rates by half, to enable Nigerians have more opportunities to talk. Offering the new tariff proposition called easylife, Etisalat said subscribers on its Easy Starter and Easy Cliq, now have the opportunity of enjoying lower rates of 25 kobo per second to all networks in Nigeria, anytime of the day, effective from September 1, 2010.

 *Harare — Econet Wireless, Zimbabwe's largest mobile telecommunications firm, will from October 2 change its prefix number from 091 to 077, an official said on Tuesday.Corporate communications manager Rangarirai Mberi said the move was in compliance with standards set by global regulator, the International Telecommunications Union.The change affects only the first three numbers with the rest of the numbers remaining unchanged.

* Nairobi — Safaricom has reduced charges for SMS. Under the new tariff plan dubbed Masaa ya SMS, the listed operator's 16 million-plus subscribers will be able to send text messages for as low as 20 cents each. This service will be enjoyed by the firm's PrePay and PostPay customers alike. The plan allows subscribers to send text messages within the Safaricom network at rates depending on what SMS bundle one selects. A bundle of 100 SMS will be available at Sh20, which denotes a unit price of 20 cents per message sent.Subscribers will be able to buy some 20 text messages for Sh10, translating into 50 cents per text message, while the last bundle, for Sh5, will afford one five SMS, meaning a unit price of Sh1 each.

* MTN has launched its MTN Mobile Money service in Benin in association with Ecobank Benin.

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