TELECOMS, RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- Vodacom Tanzania has ramped up its network coverage of Zanzibar with the commissioning of ten new communication towers. The new equipment has been installed at Lumumba, Bububu, Chukwani and Fuoni, in Urban West District. In addition, three sites in the south region and three more in the north have also been improved. Vodacom Tanzania hopes the increased footprint and improved reception will help it attract new customers.

- Mobile operator Areeba in Ghana has launched a new service labelled 'free network calls,' Areeba customers can call for free between the hours of 12:30am and 5:00am each day. Calls are restricted to only from Areeba to Areeba. SMS (Short Messaging Service), MMS (Multi media Messaging) and GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) are however excluded.

- South Africa cellular operator Cell C has lost more than 200,000 customers in the past six months as users defected to its rivals. The network now claims 2.7-million users, down from 2.9-million in December. Loss of many lower-spending prepaid users helped to push up the average monthly spend from R142 to R152 a customer. Cell-C is currently testing a 3G service and has been operating a Huawei supplied IP/MPLS backbone for the last nine months.

- Cellular operator Vodacom Tanzania has relaunched its public access wireless service People’s Phone, known locally as Simu ya Watu. People’s Phone is a low cost communications facility for people who cannot otherwise afford a mobile phone, designed to empower more people in the country by giving them telecoms access. Vodacom is teaming up with three companies – Shared Phone, Planetel and OneCell – to re-launch People’s Phone and hopes the trade partnership will result in even more affordable prices.

- Four months after its launch, MTN Uganda's has announced that its MTNWeb2U service has proved to be a success with an increase of usage over a short period. MTNWeb2U allows users to purchase and send airtime instantly over the Internet to others without having to send money.

- Nigeria’s Globacom is offering Blackberry handsets to new users. Business is apparently brisk although no take-up figures have been issued.