TELECOMS, RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms

* Cell C is confident that it will meet its licence obligation to roll out 52 000 community service telephones (CST) to under-serviced areas nation-wide by 2008. To date, Cell C has rolled-out over 20 000 lines, which are owned by more than 4 000 entrepreneurs and are recording 45m calls a month. This in itself is claimed to be ahead of initial targets, considering that Cell C's CSTs were only launched in mid-2003.

* Nigerian Minister for Communications, Chief Cornelius Adebayo, said last week, that the National Rural Telephony Project would take off by December, with 210 out of the 774 local governments of the federation. Adebayo said the base stations in some of these local government areas would be switched on very soon. According to him, "by the end of this year, the National Rural Telephony Project would take off in earnest, and any moment from now, we shall be switching on some of the base stations. The intention is to ignite the entire local government of the federation through this project, starting with 210 of them."

* Orange Madagascar is going to lower its tariffs in 11 districts of Grande île following an agreement signed with GulfSat that operates "tele-cabines" in the district. Districts include: Ankazobe, Ambilobe, Bealanana, Belo/Tsiribihina, Fandriana, Mananara Avaratra, Mandritsara, Maroantsetra, Sakaraha, Tsaratanàna et Vangaindrano

* Kenya's GSM network operator, Safaricom, has opened its ninth fully-fledged customer care center at the Moi International Airport, Mombasa.