Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage (briefs)

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- One of Liberia's GSM Service Providers, Cellcom Telecommunications, has connected Cocopa district and other surrounding villages in Nimba County to its services.

- Zimbabwe’s three mobile telecommunications firms, Econet Wireless, Telecel and NetOne have announced new tariff increases. Mobile tariffs were last reviewed in July. Subscribers will now pay between $12 and $18 per minute up from about $2. International calls will cost between $30 and $40 per minute while local SMS will cost between $5 and $7. International messages have been pegged at between $12 and $20.

- At the launch of the MTC Professorship in ICT, the General Manager of MTC said that Namibia has now 1 million active mobile users and MTC accounted for 900 000 of those numbers.

- Motorola announced it has won the Mobile Data Association (MDA) Green Award for its wind and solar powered mobile base station trial in Namibia, conducted with the GSM Association (GSMA) and MTC Namibia.

- Ugandan mobile operator Warid Telecom has launched two new value added services (VAS) Music Zone and Gaming Zone, claiming a first for the country. The Music Zone service allows Warid customers to listen to music for as long as they want for a flat-rate fee of UGX299 (USD0.18), while Gaming Zone allows subscribers to enter a five digit combination for the chance to win UGX10 million.

- Kenya's largest mobile operator, Safaricom has launched a HSDPA upgrade on its network in the coastal city of Mombassa - offering speeds up to 72.Mbps. The company said that it has invested Sh1.8 billion (US$27.5 million) on the network upgrade.

- In South Africa, mobile operator Cell C’s active subscribers surged by 58% since June 2007 to 5.4 million, largely due to popular products such as Woza Weekend and the Hola 7 starter pack, resulting in a substantial increase in the volume of traffic on Cell C’s Edge-enabled network.