Celtel to expand One Network coverage and MTN says “Me too, please”

Telecoms

Speaking at the WATRA organised 1st Mobile Roaming Conference, West Africa’s regulators heard that mobile operator Celtel is to expand its One Network area and MTN is also shortly to expand its cross-border, one rate coverage area.

Celtel’s Fayaz King told the conference that by the end of 2007 15 countries would be part of its One Network plan. The third phase of expansion will include Nigeria, Niger, Burkina Faso and Chad. The fourth phase in 2008 will include Sudan and Saudi Arabia. But as King observed:”There is increasing complexity (for the network) as more countries join in.

MTN has already launched a competitor scheme in East Africa and is planning to have 9 of its operations in place by the end of September 2007. MTN’s Chijoike Obuna noted that MTN has more operations in Africa than Celtel, particularly in West Africa. However, the scheme will not bring on pre-paid users until January 2008. After Africa, it intends to extend the scheme globally starting with its other operations outside Africa.