TELECOMS, RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- Uganda's subscriber base has grown by more than 1.5 million new contracts in the last one year reaching a total of 3, 575,263. "This is a net addition of 1.5 million customers between June 2006 and June 2007, representing an annual growth of 68 percent," said UCC commission's executive director Patrick Masambu.

- Starcomms Limited, Nigeria's largest CDMA 3G Mobile network, has extended its activities to the East, Onitsha and Aba, the Delta State capital.

- Uganda telecom has started offering night time free calls in a move to compete with its rivals, Celtel Uganda and MTN Uganda. Customers will have to load airtime of any value every day to enjoy the free calls. Uncertainty remains though since network jams have occurred in the past during occasions of traffic surges like Christmas. UTL's free calls start from 11 p.m. every night until 6 a.m.

- The first signs of TransCorp’s efforts to revive Nitel’s telecommunication network across the country are concentrating on Mtel, Nitel’s mobile arm. The subsidiary announced that its network is now working at almost 100 per cent capacity in Abuja and rehabilitation work has already started at Enugu, Abuja, Iseghohi, Benin, Port Harcourt and Lagos.

- Celtel-Sierra Leone has unveiled plans to offer internet services via mobile phones in a bid to catch with competitor, mobile operator Tigo which was first to offer mobile internet services in the country. The company also announced that its network coverage has reached 80% of the total population of 4.9 million.

- Zimbabwe’s government has again announced increases in telecommunications tariffs that will see cellphone charges jumping from between Z$465 and Z$503 to between Z$5,419 and Z$7,200 per minute.