TELECOMS, RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms Rates, Offers and Coverage (briefs)

-  Zimbabwean cellco NetOne, the smallest operator in a market of three, has announced that it has deployed at least 106 new base stations so far in 2010, to expand what it claims is already ‘the widest coverage’ in the country. In recent months NetOne has added base stations across all ten provinces of Zimbabwe, whilst its year-to-date total includes 40 cell sites in Harare, 13 in Bulawayo, six in Matebeleland North, two in Matebeleland South, 14 in the Midlands province, ten in Manicaland province, five in Masvingo province, six in Mashonaland East province, four in Mashonaland Central and eight in Mashonaland West province.

- Zain Zambia, the country’s largest mobile network operator having signed up some 3.4 million customers by that date. has announced that it plans to construct 624 new base stations over the next two years.

- The Nigerian unit of UAE-based telecoms company Etisalat aims to increase its mobile subscriber base to seven million by the end of the year, the company had recently crossed the six million customer mark. Etisalat Nigeria plans to spend up to USD500 million on its network in 2011, as it looks to double its subscriber base to twelve million by the end of that year. The company expected the unit to break even in 2011 on an earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) basis, paving the way for the company to move into a more profitable phase and return money to shareholders. Etisalat Nigeria is 40%-owned by UAE incumbent Etisalat, with 30% owned by UAE government investment vehicle Mubadala Development Company, and the remainder by Nigerian investors. The company launched commercial GSM services under the Etisalat brand in November 2008.

-  Safaricom claimed 16.71 million mobile subscribers, giving it a 76.7% share of the market. The company’s 3G subscriber base doubled year-on-year, and stood at 3.61 million at end-September. Meanwhile, Safaricom said that 13.5 million subscribers are now registered to its M-PESA wireless money transfer system, equivalent to 81% of its total subscriber base. Safaricom said its network comprised a total of 2,282 cell sites, 829 3G base transceiver stations (BTSs) and 165 WiMAX BTSs at 30 September 2010.

-  NetOne has commissioned additional base stations across the country, thus further widening its network, which is the widest in the country.In recent months NetOne has added base stations across all the 10 provinces of Zimbabwe.A total of 106 base stations were commissioned, which include 40 in Harare, 13 in Bulawayo, six in Matebeleland North, two in Matebeleland South and 14 in the Midlands province.

-  Informa Telecom and Media has shown that Africa's active mobile phone subscribers have crossed the half-a-billion mark in the third quarter of 2010.

-  The number of active GSM subscribers in Nigeria has been estimated to exceed 85 million by the end of December 2010.

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