Telecoms News: In Brief

Bharti will MTN Uganda’s market share as it has the largest subscriber base, estimated at 5.6 million, while Zain, is the second largest operator with an estimated two million subscribers. Its strategy has been to sharply discount on calling rates and improve network quality. Financial muscle is likely to be a major factor as Bharti attempts to grab first place from MTN. It also announced that about 40 new staff will be brought to staff the Bharti Africa operations while 30 people from the company's Africa operations will be taken to India. The company will drive the teledensity from 30% to over 60%. MTN revenues have increased by 140 per cent, Bharti by 120 per cent, over a three-year period reviewed. * Rwandatel is now set to unveil its 'Mobile Money' service, partnering with the Bank of Kigali (BK) as the receiving bank.The 'mobile money' service enables one to make a financial transaction using a mobile phone or any mobile device with SIM card technology. * Vodacom pleaded with the telecoms regulator to delay the second round of interconnection rate cuts, saying if the new rate was introduced next month it would "devastate" the industry. In April, Icasa proposed an interconnection rate, the fees mobile operators charge each other to carry calls on to their networks, of 65c a minute in peak and off-peak periods from July 1. This was to be followed by 50c in July next year and 40c in 2012, in a process called a "glide path".That announcement came a month after MTN, Vodacom and Cell C cut the rate from R1,25 to 89c, instead of the government's required 60c, after a compromise agreement with Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda.