Telecoms Rates, Offers and Coverage (briefs)

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- According to Business Daily Africa, mobile operator Safaricom has completed a KES2.3 billion (USD24.3 million) network upgrade in western Kenya. The process, which commenced in September 2010, has seen 117 new 2G base stations rolled out in the region, whilst an additional 121 towers have been upgraded to support the operator’s 3G network. Among the areas covered by the upgrade and installation are: Okore and Ombeyi in Kisumu County; Lubao and Shianda (in Kakamega); and Wagai market and the surrounding villages along the busy Luanda-Siaya road, an area which previously lacked coverage altogether.

- South Africans can now vote for Table Mountain to become one of the New7Wonders of Nature via online mobile messenger MXit, which has an estimated 37-million registered accounts in the country.

- Nigeria’s mobile operator Globacom has announced a partnership with Nokia West Africa on a unique bundle offer for the new Nokia E6 handset and other Nokia devices. A subscriber may also choose between the Nokia E6, E7 and N8 series and still enjoy the benefits under the Glo Mega Deals including the 6GB data access and 20% bonus airtime.

- Alongside the launch of a low cost data enabled handsets, ranging from Rwf18,500 to Rwf20,000 to get more people on the internet, MTN Rwanda's Chief Marketing Officer, Yvonne Manzi Makolo explained that currently, the majority of mobile voice users in Rwanda are outside Kigali. Due to the increase in network coverage, Kigali now accounts for about 40 percent while the rest of the country is 60 percent," Makolo revealed

- Nigeria’s CDMA operator, Visafone has launched the  Motorola XT 800 and ZTE R750 dual SIM touch screen smartphones which operate on the Android Operating System.

- Motorola Mobility, the mobile devices arm of Motorola that is in the throes of being bought by Google, is finally launching its Android-based Xoom tablet and Atrix smartphone in South Africa.

- Orange Uganda  awarded the best students of Makerere Faculty of ICT and the School of Engineering who came up with the best mobile applications in the agricultural, education and health sectors that would have economic potential and would in turn benefit their communities. The winning application was Mobile Scheduling System which was developed by Davis Agaba, Nicholas Mpanga and Sharlotte Andinda. They were given a cash prize of 5,000,000/= (five million shillings) plus support from Orange Uganda for the application they have developed.

- Airtel Kenya relaunched its money service with an offer to users to make free money transfer to any network in Kenya until September 10. New users will also get free airtime worth 10 per cent on their first deposit to make Airtel to Airtel calls. MD Rene Meza said the service now has 6000 agents countrywide and also works with banks like Coop, KCB, Equity Bank as well as Nakumatt and Kenya Airways