Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage (briefs)

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- Subscribers of Nigeria’s Starcomms are in for lengthy conversations this Ramadan period as the network offers a record tariff slash on on-net calls. During the promo, all Starcomms subscribers using both mobile and fixed lines and those who purchased Starcomms phones during the period, with the exception of tele-center operators on the telemax tariff programme, will pay only one naira (N1) per minute for calls made within the network between the hours of 10.00 pm and 6.00 am.

- Essar Telecommunication Kenya (ETK - previously Econet Wireless Kenya) has announced that following the activation of 500 base stations this month the company will have attained national network coverage, Kenya’s Daily Nation reports. The cellco, which operates under the ‘yu’ brand, said that subscribers will now be able to enjoy clear mobile calls and data services nationally with seamless coverage on the Mombasa-Nairobi-Busia highway and beyond. The firm also stated that its customer base has exceeded 600,000 and that as the network is expanded it is likely to achieve its target of two million subscribers by March 2010.

- Meanwhile, Zain Kenya has revealed plans to launch a subscriber discount service offering customers price cuts of up to 90%. Levi Nyakundi, acting marketing director of Zain Kenya, said: ‘Customers will be required to subscribe for only KES500 (USD6.30) daily so that they can take advantage of the guaranteed savings.’ Nyakundi explained that with the new service, ‘Zain Supa Talk’, customers will be able to make calls at a half price during the day and save up to 90% during the night.

- Econet Wireless Zimbabwe announced last Friday the launch of commercial 3G services, including mobile Internet access via handsets and datacards, in tandem with an expanded nationwide launch of GPRS services. The country’s largest wireless operator has recently installed a satellite earth station to provide uplink services for the new W-CDMA-based network. A spokesperson for the company said it now expects ‘90% of internet users to migrate to 3G datacards within a few months.’