Telecoms Rates, Offers and Coverage (briefs)
* Cell C, which launched its third-generation (3G) mobile network in the Eastern Cape city of Port Elizabeth on Friday, is playing up its launch offering of two broadband modems with 24GB and 60GB data bundles. But the company has also quietly introduced two new data-only products at prices that are significantly lower than the offerings that are bundled with modems and much cheaper than anything offered by rivals MTN and Vodacom. The two products that Cell C is playing up cost R1 499 and R2 999 up-front for 2GB/month and 5GB/month of data respectively for a period of 12 months, all-inclusive. The more expensive offering has a 21Mbit/s modem. The cheaper product comes with a 7.2Mbit/s device. But TechCentral has learnt that Cell C is also providing two data-only products for R999 and R1 999. They offer users the same bandwidth that’s available on the modem bundles, namely 24GB and 60GB, split up over 12 months. On the high-end data-only product, that works out to as little as R33.33/GB, a fraction of the cost of data from rival mobile providers. This per-gigabyte rate is more comparable, in fact, to fixed-line broadband tariffs. On the R999 data-only product, the effective per-gigabyte rate is R41.62.
* Vodafone Ghana has officially launched 'Power to You', which marks a new chapter for Vodafone-Ghana, as the company works proactively in bringing more products and services to the Ghanaian market, in responding to customers and business' requirements.
*Nairobi — Kenya's remainong operating local loop operator, Flashcom Ltd, has joined the telephony market price war frenzy, by cutting its calling and internet rates. The introduction of the unified licensing framework (ULF) by the industry regulator, the Communications Commission of Kenya, gave the firm a fighting chance, rendering the local loop operator concept void. Local loop operators (LLOs) are companies licensed to provide end-users with voice and data, in specific geographical regions. Flashcom, with its coverage mainly in Nairobi and environs, last week cut its calling rates to Sh2.40 per minute to all other networks in Kenya, while calls and short messages within the firm's network are free.International destinations start from Sh7. Data costs Sh1.999 for unlimited monthly use. It is charged Sh0.5 per minute on all tariffs.
*Abuja — The International Telecoms Union (ITU) has ranked Nigeria as the largest online audience on the African continent and the 10th largest in the world. In a recent statistic by the telecom body, 39.6 per cent of all internet traffic from Africa is from Nigeria, about 29.8 per cent of the population accesses the Internet while 43.9 million Nigerians access the Internet, making Nigerians the largest online audience in Africa and 10th largest in the world.
* In an email last week, Zimbabwe’s Zellco, a mobile virtual network operator invited subscribers to register for public VoIP services. According to Zellco, the service is being offered by a local network called Gigatel. But according to Techzim, there is no operator licensed with regulator Potraz by that name and the Gigatel website was just some blank pages with a few links.