TELECOMS, RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- In Ethiopia activities are under way to make 200 rural kebeles in three states become beneficiaries of telephone services in the budget year, the Southeast Region of the Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) reported Region Manager Teferi Zewde told WIC that ETC has been making rural kebeles in Oromia, Amhara, and Afar states beneficiaries of telephone services since last July.

- Celtel in Nigeria has been testing Mobile Push E-Mail with T3 Communications. Mobile subscribers will soon have access to their corporate and personal email, calendar, contacts/Personal Information Management (PIM) and other corporate data directly to their mobile handsets and in most cases without having to change their current handsets.

- State-owned Telkom Kenya is preparing to roll out its own mobile telephone service to compete with Safaricom and Celtel in a market that is supposed to witness the entry of at least two other players in the next 10 months.

- South Africa’s MTN Group has reported a 37% jump in subscriber numbers for the three months to the end of September thanks to its acquisition of Investcom. Even without the Investcom deal, MTN says, customer numbers grew a healthy 8%. In its domestic market MTN saw its customer base grow 7% over the quarter to 11.16 million. In Nigeria, user numbers were up 8% to 10.38 million, while in Ghana there was 21% growth to reach a total of 2.44 million. Other high-growth markets included Syria and Uganda.

- Libya is set to get its first 3G network, with the country’s second largest cellular operator Libyana rolling out a W-CDMA and HSDPA network covering 14 cities. Libyana has contracted ZTE of China to supply its 3G infrastructure.

- Malawi Telecommunications Ltd (MTL), the country’s sole fixed line operator, has introduced a toll-free service whereby any company can set up a line for its customers to call, and the charge will be borne by the company not the customer. The company will be free to set the maximum number of calls that can be received over a specified time.