TELECOMS, RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms, Rates, Offers and Coverage

- Nigerian mobile telephone operator MTS First relaunched its corporate logo in Lagos with a pledge to increase its subscriber base to 500,000 before the end of this year.

- Ethiopian ECT nation wide fiber optics infrastructure development project is taking shape. So far it installed a 4000 km long fiber optics line that connects the regional states. The plan is to lay more than 10,000 km long fiber optics line that connects all the regional states and to link the nation to the international undersea gate way via Djibouti and Port Sudan.

- Zimbabwe EconetWireless has increased its tariffs by between 16 percent and 20 percent with effect from the beginning of this month. This is the second tariff increase this year. In January tariffs went up by 100 percent. A call made during the peak period will now cost $9 883 per minute from $8 189, while an of-peak call will now be $9 191 per minute from the previous $7,370 for Buddie users. Tariffs for Libertie silver, gold and diamond will range from $10 106 to $9 803 per minute during the peak period going down to between $9398 and $9 116 per minute during the off-peak period.

- MTN Zambia has set out a plan to open up as many distribution points for its products as possible. The company was looking at empowering small-scale business enterprises throughout the country and  had started engaging entrepreneurs to open up new distribution channels for sales of talk time and sim cards and other related products. The idea was to extend coverage of the MTN network to up to 74 per cent of the Zambian population by the close of the year.

- Third-generation high-speed downlink packet access (3G HSDPA), promising connection speeds of up to 1.8Mbps, is now available on both the Vodacom and MTN networks. “Vodacom's 3G HSDPA is a 3G technology upgrade to the Vodacom network, using Siemens as the preferred technology partner,” notes Vodacom COO Pieter Uys. Subscribers require a Vodafone Mobile Connect 3G Broadband card, which Vodacom says will entitle the user to download speeds of up to 1.8Mbps – faster than traditional ADSL connection. However, the 3GB cap option will cost the user R1 597 per month – more than ADSL. The 1GB cap option is R599.