Internet News - In Brief

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* Zimbabwe’s Econet says it has connected more than 100,000 subscribers within just a week. Econet published new tariffs for its mobile broadband services in the press. On the new tariff schedule, some mobile broadband packages have been reduced by as much 50%. Specifically, the 5MB bundle which was US $2 is now $1, the 50MB bundle from $20 to $10, the 100MB bundle halved from $40 to $20 and the 200MB has been reduced from $50 to $40. The rest remain unchanged.

* Cellular network operator MTN SA will “refarm” a portion of its spectrum allocation in the 900MHz radio frequency band in both rural and urban areas as the war between operators hots up. MTN has already deployed 3G at 900MHz in some parts of Limpopo, but has now begun refarming the spectrum in peri-urban areas, with plans gradually to bring the technology closer to the cities. Operators are keen to build broadband networks at 900MHz as spectrum in this band offers a number of advantages over the 2.1GHz they have used until now for 3G.

* The Advertising Standards Authority has overturned a previous decision that Vodacom may no longer use the term “broadband” in advertising for its 3G mobile network. Earlier this year, the authority told Vodacom to remove all references to broadband in its advertising, after it failed to provide enough proof that it could provide broadband speeds across its entire network. The ruling against Vodacom was conditional on the group proving it could provide the required speeds across the majority of its network. The reports were the proof Vodacom needed and the authority has overturned its original ruling. “Accordingly, any reference to the term broadband in its advertising is now substantiated and therefore not misleading,” says the authority.

* At this week’s launch event for new broadband firm MTN Business Kenya, speculation was rife that the MTN management team are planning to invest in a wireless business to complement its recently acquired broadband provider UUNet (now MTN Business Kenya), AllAfrica reports. However, Angela Gahagan, managing executive of MTN Business Africa, remained tight-lipped on the subject, admitting: ‘I'm not aware of such plans. However, the group is always looking for opportunities for growth’.

* Nairobi — Safaricom subscribers were on Wednesday morning thrown off-network and were unable to use any service following a fibre cable cut on Tuesday night at Museum Hill, Nairobi. The cut-off, triggered by ongoing road construction, prevented subscribers from using any Safaricom services.