TELECOMS, RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- MTN has now implemented its branding (blue and yellow) on the former Areeba network in Ghana.

- Celtel Malawi boosted its subscriber base to half a million at the start of August from the 376,000 it had before a fire damaged its network in late March.

- Mascom, a mobile operator in Botswana has launched a new mobile Internet service using EDGE. Four bundled packages are available - Surf20, Surf100, Surf500 and Surf1Gig. These allow one to sign up for a specified amount of data per month for a fixed fee. There is also a pay-as-you-surf option.

- Celtel Uganda has embarked on a series of network upgrades and rolling out to new locations. The company is upgrading from GSM900 to GSM1800 which will enable it to double its capacity. The mobile operator is also expanding throughout Uganda to achieve 90 per cent coverage of the population of Uganda from the current 78 per cent.

- Comium-Liberia, one of the GSM companies in the country has launched a new service featuring songs of Liberian musical artists. The service known as the Control Ring Back Tone (CRBT) will play songs of Liberian musicians when receiving a call. It will feature songs of ten renowned Liberian artists including gospel and secular songs.

-Moroccan telecoms regulator ANRT has reported that the country’s fixed telephony subscribers rose by 20.48% quarter-on-quarter in April-June 2007 to 1.94 million, mostly thanks to the recent introduction of limited mobility wireless in the local loop (WiLL) services. According to the watchdog, fixed telephony penetration rose to 6.36% from 5.39% over the same period. The fixed line market had seen an unprecedented 27.24% rise in subscribers over the first quarter of the year to reach 1.61 million at the end of March, up from 1.266 million at the end of December 2006.

- South Africa’s Competition Commission has ruled that cellular operator MTN discriminated against smaller rival Cell-C by charging it higher interconnect fees than it charged to market leader Vodacom. The Commission said MTN’s interconnect pricing was uncompetitive, according to a Reuters report. The ruling relates to calls made from Cell-C public payphones.