Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage (briefs)

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- Kenya’s mobile operator, Safaricom, has integrated its M-Pesa money transfer service and data platform to enable users to book and pay for their domestic air, road and rail travel through their data-enabled mobile phones.

- Zain Kenya intends to roll out 3G by the first half of next year to enhance it data business and make it more competitive in this market segment.

- Econet Wireless Zimbabwe, the country's largest mobile phone operator, will soon introduce roaming services for its prepaid service subscribers.

- Africa's largest cellular operator, MTN, has lost almost 5% of its South African subscribers in the last three months, as group subscriber growth slowed to 5% in the third quarter. It says the decline is a result of the SIM card registration Act – the Regulation of Interception of Communications and Provision of Communication-Related Information Act (RICA). As a result, it does not anticipate any subscriber growth from the local operation for the year, expecting previous gains to be offset by losses.

- Almost R800 million was wiped off Telkom's market capitalisation last week, within minutes of the Competition Commission announcing that it was recommending the fixed line operator be fined 10% of is annual turnover. Earlier, the Competition Commission had issued a statement saying that it was recommending to the Competition Tribunal that Telkom be fined 10% of its annual revenue for its financial year, ended 31 March 2008. In its investigation, the commission found that Telkom abused its near-monopoly position in the market for the provision of telecommunication network facilities.