Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage (briefs)

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- Nigeria’s wireless operator, Visafone has announced that it has met all of the requirements to comply with the CDMA Development Group's (CDG) Open Market Handset initiative. The company is the first operator in Africa to do so.

- Telecommunications firm Orange, has unveiled the trendy and multifunctional iPhone 3G -third generation and 3G S devices in Uganda. The launch cuts back the high chances of buying fake versions of the stylish phones from unauthorised distributors in Uganda, since Orange is the official vendor of the iPhone across Africa. However, sources report that initial sales have been slow.

- Telkom Kenya's mobile service, Orange subscribers can now call and receive calls while outside Kenya following the activation of its roaming services in 200 destinations giving its subscribers ability to use their lines across the borders.

- Burundi mobile operator Econet Wireless now targets to increase its clientele from the current 80,000 to 800,000. Econet, a subsidiary of South Africa-based Econet Wireless International, has attracted 80,000 users since April and aims to have 100,000 signed up by the end of the year 2009. The African nation of 8 million people saw its subscriber base grow by 78% to 480,000 users in 2008. Burundi's telecom regulator estimates the number of customers could reach 700,000 by 2012.

- In Gambia, mobile operator Qcell has launched a roaming service. Qcell, Gambia's is now roaming in every country in the world with 550 partners in 208 countries.

- Malawian telecoms operator Telekom Networks Malawi (TNM) has launched its W-CDMA/HSDPA network enabling subscribers to access services such as videocalling, mobile TV and high speed internet offering download speeds of up to 3.6Mbps, local daily Nyasa Times reports. Charles Kamoto, head of TNM’s Commercial Services division, said the service is initially only available to post-paid subscribers but pre-paid customers will soon have access to the service.