TELECOMS, RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- Vodacom South Africa has announced the arrival of Vodafone Passport - the roaming option which aims to allow Vodacom Contract customers to take their home tariff with them, when making or receiving calls while travelling overseas. Once Vodafone Passport has been activated, customers travelling overseas will only be charged a once-off connection fee when receiving a call. The once-off connection fee plus their home tariff call rate will apply when making calls to SA and within the visited country. Calls made to other countries will be charged at the once-off connection fee plus their home tariff international call rate.

- MOOV, the last mobile operator to roll out its network in Côte d’Ivoire has announced that it has signed up over half a million subscribers for its mobile services since the launch of operations in July this year. MOOV Côte d'Ivoire is a  subsidiary of Atlantique Telecom, which in turns is held at 50% by the Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (Etisalat).

- MTN in South Africa said that they are in the process of a massive upgrade to their network, both in coverage and with its core data network. The company is now moving into the second phase of its 3G deployment, where the number of 3G base stations will be tripled. This rollout will significantly expand MTN’s current footprint in major cities, as well as add new areas to their current inventory.  MTN will also be increasing its EDGE footprint countrywide with nearly 1000 new sites being added to its already extensive coverage.

-Ericsson, MTN and the GSM Association are setting up a pilot biodiesel-powered base station in Lagos. The project will show the potential of biofuels -- an alternative to diesel -- as a source of power for mobile base stations located far from the country's electricity grid. The move is expected to enhance the telecommunication companies' penetration of new, and mostly rural, markets.