TELECOMS, RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms

- Celtel Uganda is running trials for GPRS / EDGE services on 1,000 clients. The service expected to be commercially launched in the last quarter of 2006, will also offer solutions for the transport and banking sectors. The service will be accessed by paying for a monthly bundle of 10 or 50 mega bytes per month for postpaid clients and per kilobyte for prepaid customers.

- The Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation said it was giving out 3,000 mobile phone lines to subscribers in Jijiga town of Somali State.  The Corporation began the distribution of SIM cards to meeting the growing demand of subscribers in the town. This will be followed by the supply over 11,000 mobile telephone lines.

- Taking advantage of its presence in the three East African countries Celtel has introduced a flat calling rate for its subscribers in the region. Celtel subscribers in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania will now make calls to fellow subscribers in the region at a cheaper calling rate. The new rates to be billed per-minute, will apply to both pre-paid and post-paid tariff subscribers. This move may well start to force down local roaming rates.

- The number of people with mobile phones in Tanzania reached 3.88 million by the end of March 2006, up from just 126,646 back in 2000. Vodacom Tanzania led the way with 2,082,500 subscribers, ahead of Celtel with 1,067,000, MIC Tanzania (Tigo) with 509,846, and Zantel with 230,000.

- Maroc Télécom has restructured its fixed line, broadband internet and mobile operations within a single business unit to focus on convergence and offer customers a greater range of bundled services. The group also revealed plans to open new sales offices across the country to tighten its links with customers at provincial and local government levels.