Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- HITS Telecom, the fourth telecommunications operator to be given a licence to work in Uganda, has successfully conducted its first calls this week. The commercial launch of the service is scheduled for Q1 2008.

- Local Nigerian newspaper, Leadership reported several hours of disruption on MTN’s mobile network during this week. This recent failure adds to the long list of quality service issues that the Nigerian Communication Commission wants to be solved. The organisation recently ordered that all the telecommunication (fixed and mobile) operators have up till December 2007 to improve on their network or face sanction.

- Vodacom has launched two personal social networking services that are a first for South African cellphone users.

“We have used the latest technology, but the real breakthrough here is ease–of-use and the additional location-based feature,” said Dot Field, Vodacom’s chief communications officer.

Meep

The first service is Meep, a real-time, presence-based Instant Messaging service. The second is TheGRID that will for the first time allow South Africans to enter the location-based social networking space from their cellphones. A unique feature to find friends by seeing their physical position on a street map is practical and fun to use.

- Celtel Kenya has signed an SMS interconnection agreement with Telkom Kenya that allows the latter's wireless customers to access the former's network via a short message service. Further, Celtel said it would extend interconnection to the Internet service providers (ISPs) to use Celtel's platform for the Voice Over Internet Protocol (VOIP).

- Cell C, the smallest of South Africa’s three mobile network operators said that the company added 850 000 new pre-paid subscribers during the third quarter of 2007. Cell C also announced that their free weekend minute deal proved to be a great success. Since the launch of the Woza Weekend offering at the end of June, Cell C said that it has activated more that one million new subscribers.