Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage (briefs)

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- Ethiopia Telecommunications Corp (ETC) plans to boost mobile subscribers to 15 million in two years, from 2.2 million now, using $1.5 billion from China's ZTE Corp, the Ethiopian firm said. Industry sources say ZTE will also set up a CDMA network with capacity for 2.4 million Ethiopian subscribers.

- Safaricom, Kenya’s largest cellular operator by subscribers, has opened a new operating division called Safaricom Business which will market high speed mobile data services to corporate customers. A report from IDG News Service says that a suite of new mobile data products will be launched under the brand ONEConnect. Services will run over Safaricom’s EDGE and UMTS networks, which the cellco plans to deploy in all major urban centres.

- Zain Malawi has introduced GPRS and is heavily marketing the service to users.

- Ericsson anticipates 20 percent growth of its cell phone usage in Africa by 2009, its South Africa head said. The Swedish company's Managing Director Jan Embro said Friday its market anticipates seeing 50-60 million new cell subscribers especially in West Africa's populous country of Nigeria.

- MTN Uganda has confirmed that it is testing its Mobile Money transfer service with agents and hundreds of customers nationwide in anticipation of the service's launch.