On the Money – In Brief

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

* Malawi’s third licensed mobile operator Global Advanced Integrated Networks (GAIN), which intends to provide services under the G-Mobile banner, has received an injunction against a USD6.9 million fine issued by telecoms regulator Malawi Communication Regulatory Authority (MACRA) for failing to deploy its wireless network. Local newspaper Sunday Times reports that GAIN was given 30 days to pay the fine, which was issued on 20 May 2010. However, the cellco took the matter to the High Court in Mzuzu and gained an injunction against MACRA’s fine until a judicial review could be carried out. On 12 July Justice Lovemore Chikopa upheld the injunction and set 23 August 2010 as the date for the matter to be heard in court, with parties given until 9 August to exchange all the relevant documentation.

Telecoms Rates, Offers and Coverage (briefs)

*Qcell Gambia had signed up a subscriber base of around 100,000, as well as expanding its network coverage across the country and employing a staff of 300 Gambians, up from around 100 at launch.
*Zain Ghana has rolled out a bouquet of three new consumer products, designed for its pre-paid customers, in order to re-strengthen its commitment of putting consumers on the driving seat at all times.The products include -'Free Night Calls', 'Payback' and 'Friends and Family', which will allow Zain pre-paid customers to control their spending patterns, increase their talk time and get rewarded with bonus credits for receiving calls on their lines. Free Night Calls service will enable customers who talk for just 15p or more before 11:59 pm every day, to talk free of charge from 12 midnight to 5am. In addition, customers can also take advantage of the available off-peak tariff of 1Gp from 10pm to 11:59pm.
With Payback customers get a whopping 10% bonus of the value of all calls they receive from a Zain line and 3% bonus of the value of all calls they receive from other networks. The bonus credits that accrue to a customer can only be used for Zain to Zain calls (on-net) and is valid for 7 days. Interestingly, Friends and Family offers customers a window of opportunity to select and talk to the first 5 special people of their choice, at an astonishing 45% discount or 6.6Gp of Zain regular tariff, with no subscription fee. Also, there is a benefit of 50% discount for SMS sent to any of the 5 selected numbers because each SMS will cost only 0.02p.
* Johannesburg — Siemens Southern Africa said last week it had plans to develop further industrial products assembly plants in SA in line with its strategy to use the country as a base for further expansion in Africa. The company has assembly plants in Pinetown, Wadeville, Kya Sands and Isando. The locations of the new plants were undecided.