Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage (briefs)

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- Nigeria’s CDMA operators, Starcomms announced that it has provided its data subscriber with the latest initiative designed to make renewal of data subscriptions more convenient. It said that subscribers now have three easy options to renew and pay for their data connections. They are, online renewal by using recharge cards, by SMS through direct airtime debit or through subscribers' Interswitch debit/ATM cards.

- Econet Wireless' US$115 million investment into network expansion resulted in Zimbabwe's mobile market penetration rate increasing to 21% as at August 31. According to Econet board chairman Tawanda Nyambirai this represented a seven percentage increase from February figures. Econet is the largest mobile operator with over two million subscribers and accounts for 70% of the mobile market share.

- Tanzania’s mobile company Sasatel has launched an e-mail platform for its customers which it has sourced from Yahoo through its subsidiary Zimbra.

"This is another landmark achievement by our firm which is designed to fully cater for email platform needs of both individual and corporate clients," said Sasatel's director of products and services, Thomas Andre Molvig, noted in the statement. The mobile operator officially launched its operations on June 23, this year becoming the seventh company to provide mobile telephony services in the country.

- MTN Rwanda, the country's first and largest mobile operator by market share expects to hit 2 million customers by the end of the year. MTN Rwanda boasts of the widest network coverage in the country with 1.7 million subscribers.

- The Chairman of Etisalat Nigeria Hakeem Belo Osagie has said that the company has spent over $2 billion in building their network across the country in the last one year of its operation. He said the company have over 500 active cell sites across the nation with over 2 million subscribers and a total coverage of about 40% of Nigeria's population. This equates to US$1,000 capital investment per subscriber.

The number of Ghanaians using mobile phones is expected to reach 15 million by the end of 2009, the fourth quarter report on Ghana’s mobile phone market by London headquartered Business Monitor International (BMI) has said: a 27% expansion of the subscriber base during 2009. This is down from 57% in 2008, but this is very much a natural evolution thanks to a gradually maturing mobile market.”The country’s mobile penetration is expected to “reach 60% penetration before the end of 2009.