Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage (briefs)

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- Glo Gateway, Globacom's international gateway subsidiary, has announced a 70 per cent reduction on international calls to the United Kingdom, United States of America and Canada. Instead of the N39 per minute earlier charged for calls to these destinations, Glo will now charge 20 kobo per second and N12 (US8 cents) per minute for calls to all lines in the United States of America and Canada and calls to only landlines in the United Kingdom.

- Three weeks after the launch of its GSM network, Rwandatel had already registered120,000 subscribers. The telco operator also plans to import more GSM-enabled mobile phones in response to growing demand in the local market. Rwandatel’s U120 handsets manufactured by Huawei sold-out a month after their introduction on the local market.

- According to Nigeria’s Vanguard, Zain Nigeria “Ultra Low Cost Handsets” campaign has been successful. Launched eight months ago, the company has sold over 1 million of these new breed handsets. Supplied by ZTE, the handset sells at N1,700 and includes the SIM card and N50 airtime. On activation of the SIM card, and additional N200 airtime is credited to the phone, bringing the total value of free airtime to N250.00.

- Zain Kenya says it is to continue investing in its cellular network during 2009 to improve coverage in rural areas. Kenya’s second largest mobile operator says that there is still a large untapped market in rural regions. The firm is also hoping to launch a new mobile payment service to compete alongside the M-Pesa offering from market leader Safaricom.

- South Africa’s SNO, Neotel's consumer offerings are beginning to make inroads into the market and eat at Telkom's dominance in the fixed connectivity arena. Total Neotel subscriber numbers are kept confidential, but market talk is that they number over 5,000 since the launch in the second quarter of last year.

­The South African market broke through the 100% mobile penetration barrier during Q3,08 to finish the quarter on 101.8%. The total market reached 44.51m customers. Annual growth slowed from 24.2% for the 12 months ending 30th September 2007 to 10.7% for the subsequent 12 months, the lowest rate since Q2 02. However, this rate was the same as that recorded in Q2 08, and in real terms annual growth rose quarter-on-quarter, from 4.18m to 4.30m.