TELECOMS, RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms

- Batelco has signed a deal with Kenya's Safaricom to offer a commercial bilateral international roaming service between customers of the two companies. Batelco's mobile customers will be automatically given the option of connecting to the service upon arrival in Kenya and sending and receiving calls and text messages to friends, relatives and colleagues travelling to the African country and to and from Kenyan-based users.

- M-Tel is the latest Nigerian mobile company to announce ambitious plans for the roll out of 3G services in Africa’s most populous country. M-Tel says it plans to add an extra 1,500 base stations and upgrade its current GSM/GPRS infrastructure to W-CDMA within ‘the next few months’. Quite how realistic this date is remains to be seen. M-Tel’s rival MTN Nigeria set the 3G ball rolling earlier this month when it said it was confident of launching the country’s first UMTS mobile service, possibly as early as the first half of next year, despite being the only Nigerian operator yet to offer 2.5G services.