Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage (briefs)

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- MTN is set to launch a 3G service in Rwanda.

- Plans for Dangote Telecommunication Company to roll out its 3G network in Nigeria have run into trouble. According to the company, it cannot roll out because it would need to acquire a 2G company to roll-out effectively. It acquired a 3G licence back in 2006 and the NCC has threatened to remove it if it does not roll out soon.

- In Tanzania, Vodacom has launched a new service allowing its customers to pay their electricity bills through its M-Money service, Vodafone M-Pesa. The mobile phone service firm said last week in a statement that the project was a joint venture with Tanesco, the national power utility company.

- The Egyptian market surged through the 50% penetration barrier in Q1 09, finishing the quarter with a rate of 52.7%. In real terms, the total customer base grew to 43.57m. Quarterly net additions stood at 3.01m, making Q1 09 the third successive quarter in which the gain has exceeded 3m. On an annual basis, there was an increase of just under 12.50m - the highest figure ever recorded in the Egyptian market.

- Ethiopia's monopoly mobile network, ETC has launched a GPRS service on its GSM network, reports the local newspaper, Nazret. Access to GPRS is limited to post-paid mobile subscribers for the time being. ETC envisages providing a similar service to pre- paid mobile subscribers in the future.