Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage (briefs)

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- Nigeria has attained 67 million active phone subscriber base, the Minister of Information and Communications Professor Dora Akunyili said. The breakdown of the telephones line figures from the Nigerian Communications Commission shows that the GSM active lines in the country are 59, 194,972, Mobile CDMA are 7,223,039 and the fixed Wired / wireless are 1,435,279 lines as at first half of this year June 2009. The commission said the teledensity stood at the 48.87 percent in the country as at June 2007.

- In Kenya, Safaricom has launched a tariff that is expected to renew price wars common in the industry. The tariff allows its subscribers to a discounts based on time of calling and location and is expected to send other players back to the drawing board. Branded Supa Ongea, the tariff, the firm noted is based on a technology called Dynamic Discounting Service (DDS). The technology lets operators discount call rates based on traffic in a particular cell, introducing a completely new way to price telecom services. MTN was first to bring this technology and offer it creates to market.

- Liberian GSM operator Comium Liberia has announced the launch of its E-Voucher or Easy Credit scheme, allowing users to top up their SIM card more easily. The new system enables a Comium subscriber to recharge electronically without purchasing a scratch card. Dealers and sub-dealers can recharge directly into the subscriber’s account at ease, the cellco said in a statement.

- Mobile-XL, a mobile technology company has partnered with Orange in Cameroon, to bring the XLBrowser to Orange’s customers, starting in October 2009. Mobile-XL’s XLBrowser is a mobile software application that utilises SMS to provide instant access to local and global information to anyone, anywhere, using almost any mobile phone.

­The mobile handsets market in sub-Saharan Africa will continue to achieve high growth long after the number of mobile subscriptions has started to decline. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan finds that over 139 million handsets were shipped to sub-Saharan Africa in 2007 and this is expected to reach 400 million by 2014.

- The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) reports that the country had a total of 14.723 million subscribers by the end of June 2009. Mobile companies collectively added net 840,000 subscribers in three months to 30 June, with market leader Vodacom Tanzania attracting 251,143 new users for a mid-year total of 5.921 million. The second place went to Zain signed up a net 330,583 new users for a total of 4.435 million. However, it faces an uphill task if it is to reach its stated goal of six million customers by the end of this year. Third place operator, Tigo, which boosted its base by 314,565 to 3.264 million users, shipped 43,820 customers during the period for a total of 986,670. Meanwhile, the mobile arm of fixed line operator TTCL lost a net 9,000 subscribers in the second quarter for a total of 111,713, and Benson Informatics Limited (BOL) had 3,500 subscribers, up to 500 since the start of the year. Benson Informatics Limited has been in the field for three years.