Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- South Africa’s second national operator (SNO), Neotel, has launched its first voice and Internet services for residential users. The SNO is offering a CDMA-based fixed wireless service called NeoConnect to users in parts of Johannesburg and Pretoria. The initial launch is for users who have already registered an interest with Neotel; a full commercial launch is scheduled for next month. The NeoConnect Prime tariff offers 1,000 minutes to Neotel numbers, 50 SMS to Neotel numbers, an e-mail account and up to 10GB of internet access a month for ZAR599 (USD78). Internet download speeds will average between 300kbps and 700kbps on the CDMA2000 1x EV-DO network.

- In Uganda Warid Telecom has launched a promotion in which customers will be charged for only the first two minutes and the rest of the time is free. Dubbed 'Bang KB,' the promotion would run day and night unlike in other promotions where such discounts only start at 10pm.

- Mobile telephone services provider, Celtel Kenya has adjusted the calling rates for its post-paid subscribers. With the new rates, post-paid customers will be calling for Sh4 all day and night, and enjoy preferential calling of to up to eight numbers within the Celtel network.

- Mobile operator MTN is expanding its reduced calling scheme in low traffic zones to Cameroon. The scheme was initially launched in South Africa a couple of months ago.

- Onatel, Burkina Faso’s national incumbent has recently launched a pre-paid calling card offering a flat rate across all international destinations. Labelled “Dounia” the card enables Onatel’s fixed and mobile users to at CFA Francs 150 (US$0.37) per minute anywhere in the world. Onatel’s move follows Telecel’s (3rd mobile operator by subscribers) successful launch last year of a flat rate pricing strategy including a flat rate of CFA francs 150 (US$0.37) per minute to any networks in the country and CFA francs 250 (US$0.74) per minute to any international destinations. Celtel, the market leader by number of subscribers has still to follow on what looks like a price war.