Internet News: In Brief


* South African telco Neotel has launched pre-paid broadband services on its network, it has reported. Branded ‘NeoConnect Lite Pre-paid’, the service incorporates voice telephony, SMS and basic internet connectivity. The service will be delivered over Neotel’s fixed-wireless service. Utilising a NeoConnect Lite desktop phone, which doubles up as an internet access device, NeoConnect Lite Pre-paid supports peak data speeds of 156kbps, although Neotel have clarified that realistic speeds will be between 50kbps and 70kbps. The company confirmed that it is currently developing pre-paid services for its NeoConnect Prime and NeoFlex products. 

* Zain Tanzania has slashed its internet tariffs by more than 50 per cent for its customers who wish to access the internet anywhere in the country. 

* Rumours have begun circulating that Cell C, Dimension Data and Convergence Partners are in talks about building a national fibre-optic telecommunications network in South Africa, according to a report in Tech Central. 

* The Angolan airline, TAAG, is now providing an online check-in service to all destinations of the company, One of its managers told ANGOP. See:  

* Lagos — The Federal Government on Monday in Abuja said a total of 4.42Tbits (terabit per second) of broadband capacity would come on stream this year.

Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili noted that in spite of the challenges of infrastructure, Africa deserved one of the lowest tariffs and that sharing of infrastructure could definitely reduce operational cost and drive down tariff. "There is no way we can be talking about new inter-continental fibre optic cables without a reduction in the cost of broadband access. There is no reason why the new board (of NCC) should not be gearing up with excitement for increased activities in the broadband segment of the market.