Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- MTN Nigeria subscribers base is now approaching the 10 million mark following the announcement by the group in South Africa that the Nigeria subsidiary now has 9,036,000 subscribers on its network.

- The battle for Rwanda's telecom services market is just beginning to excite users. Just a week after MTN Rwanda announced its GPRS (General Packet Radio Service) internet on the phone, its rival, Terracom is unwrapping EVDO (Evolution Data Optimised Only), a fast wireless broadband internet access on its newly launched CDMA (Code Division Multiple Acess) mobile phone service (see next week’s Rwanda Special).

- Ericsson has opened a regional office in Nairobi to service the Eastern Africa markets. Ericsson Kenya is planning to service at least 20 key customers in nine countries, while using Kenya as its operation hub. Meanwhile Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications has also announced the opening of an office in Nairobi to reinforce its commercial operations in the African market. The office is aimed at serving the East African region which includes Kenya, Angola, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Sudan, Ethiopia, Tanzania and other countries in the region.

- Celtel Uganda has signed an agreement with the Uganda Taxi Operators and Drivers Association to install pay phones in all commuter taxis. It will cover all taxi parks in the country but will be initially rolled in the Old and New taxi parks and later implemented throughout the country. The pay phones would use solar chargers to operate. Each local call will cost Shs200 per unit, calls to East Africa Shs400 per unit while calls to other international destinations will go for Shs450 per unit.

- Ghanaian mobile operator Kasapa Telecom, a subsidiary of Hutchison Telecom, has extended the coverage of its CDMA network to Obuotabiri, and announced the launch of ‘Kasapa Voice Message’ services for its subscribers.