Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage (briefs)

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- Telecel Zimbabwe has launched a major expansion drive, as it seeks to take advantage of the country's stable economic environment to provide its subscribers with the most modern mobile communication technology available. On the other hand, Econet Wireless is set to extend a new service that could dramatically change the way rural people and other low-income earners communicate with their relatives.

The service, to be launched by the end of the month, is already available to users of Econet's Libertie prepaid service, and is called "Call-Me-Back". Econet now wants to offer the service to payphone users, something that has not been done anywhere in the world yet.

- Vice President John Dramani Mahama gave the assurance that the government had no intention of abrogating the deal with Vodafone Ghana despite some few concerns expressed about it. “There had been concerns on the deal, but as a government we are looking forward to streamlining those concerns to pave way for effective connectivity and industrial growth through Information Communication and Technology (ICT).”

- MTN has gained first-mover status in Cote d’Ivoire by launching the first mobile collect call service on Sicap Pay4Me solution. Simple to use and available for all MTN customers by dialling a short code before the correspondent’s number, the Sicap-designed service was rapidly embraced by a large number of MTN’s 4 million subscribers on launch last November. MTN is now running a nationwide media campaign, including a TV commercial which shows a child and her Mother phoning the Father, who automatically accepts the call charges. MTN has astutely chosen to market the service as a means of bringing families closer by enabling subscribers to bear the cost of calls from their loved ones.

- Madagascar's Telecom Malagasy (Telma) has launched a recharge service that will allow its prepay subscribers to credit both their fixed line and mobile phone. Madagascar is the world's first country to implement this service, supported by the Ericsson Billing System.