TELECOMS, RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms Rates, Offers and Coverage

- The National Communications Authority (NCA) of Ghana says that around 85% of SIM cards in the country have now been registered with their respective network service provider. However, it went on the say that 2.5 million SIM cards were barred from making calls from the weekend and that those involved have until July to register them before their lines are completely disconnected.

-Telkom has defended its tariffs for voice and data services, arguing that independent research shows its prices are not excessive, or even expensive, when measured against its international peers.

- On the back of its recent rebranding, Ethiopian monopoly telecoms provider Ethio-Telecom has announced the restructuring of tariffs for its mobile voice, mobile broadband and fixed line high speed services. All calls will now be charged on a national basis, with both pre- and post-paid customers charged at ETB0.72 (USD0.04) per minute at peak hours (7am to 9pm, Monday to Saturday), while off-peak calls will be charged at ETB0.30 per minute. The rate will apply to both the operator’s 2G and 3G subscribers. Further, the cost of a new SIM card has been reduced, to ETB60  down from ETB80, which includes airtime worth ETB15. Replacements of lost or stolen SIM cards is increased from ETB15 to ETB45. Discontinued its tariffs offering unlimited usage; as of 1 April 2011 the largest monthly data usage allowance on offer is 4GB per month, which costs ETB700 per month, with any additional usage charged at ETB0.35 per MB. Prices for the ADSL service start at ETB400 per month for a 512kbps connection with a 2GB monthly usage limit, while the telco’s top end residential fixed line broadband option offers 6GB of data per month at speeds of up to 2Mbps for ETB700.

- The total number of mobile phones in Senegal reached 8.34 million at the end of 2010, with net additions of 515,967 in the fourth quarter, according to data published by the regulator, the Agence de Regulation des Telecoms et Postes (ARTP). Orange Senegal added a net 390,000 new subscribers in the last quarter of 2010 for a total of 5.09 million, handing it a market share of around 61%. Second-placed Tigo Senegal’s base dipped to 2.36 million from 2.42 million (or 28.2% of the market), while third player Sudatel Telecom (Expresso) increased its users to 898,113 (10.8% share). The net gains from the incumbents pushed cellular penetration in the country to 68.55%, far eclipsing fixed line teledensity which stood at 2.81%, or 341,857 main lines in service, up from 278,788 at 31 December 2009. The total number of internet subscriptions was 86,964 at end-2010, up 27,219 on the end of 2009, of which 89.2% were on an ADSL connection.

-Vodacom Tanzania yesterday unveiled a new corporate colour by shifting to red, dumping blue in a move meant to align itself with its parent company Vodafone, which has a controlling stake in Vodacom South Africa.

- As Sierra Leoneans prepare to celebrate the country's 50th independence anniversary, leading mobile phone operator, Airtel has launched another innovative promotion named '50 Days of Freedom'.

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