Internet News - In Brief


- The Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation officially launched the country's broadband service last Thursday.

- The Mozambican Internet Exchange MozIX, now includes 10 peers: TDM (the incumbant teleco), TVcabo, Tropical Net, CIUEM (of the national university, which is operating the IXP), Intra, DataServ, GS Telecom, SATCom, Soluções Lda., VirConn. Furthermore, they are increasing their traffic volume. The current 100 Mbps switch is to be upgraded to 1 Gbps and there are plans to offer webmail services with 1 Terabit server. The country will also shortly launch an ISP Association.

- Police in Lusaka last week arrested a 32-year-old man for internet fraud. Chambala Chanda, of Zambian and British citizenship, was arrested for engaging in unscrupulous activities both in Zambia and internationally through the internet. Police spokesperson Brenda Muntemba said Chanda, of no fixed abode, had been arrested for claiming that he owned a company known as the Anglo World Trucking Company based in the United Kingdom, which he had used to defraud people. "He purported that the named company supplied trucks after payment was made to an account in the United States. Once deposited the money was withdrawn on the other end, after which the account was closed and nobody heard of Chanda again," Muntemba said. She said Chanda had initially studied Information Technology in the United Kingdom, after which he had started engaging in internet fraud. Muntemba said Chanda would appear in court soon.

- In line with the other mobile operators, Cell C has reduced its GPRS tariffs by up to 92%, making data services more affordable to its customers. The price reductions, effective from the beginning of May, affect the company's Smartdata package and are aimed at driving up data traffic and increasing average revenue per user. The new pricing structure will see the Smartdata Standard offering reduced from R25 to R2 per Megabyte (92% reduction), Smartdata Personal reduced from R17 to R1.75 per MB (90% reduction) and Smartdata Professional reduced from R12.50 to R1.55 per MB, or a reduction of 88%. “The reduced rates are consistent with our company's brand values of simplicity, value and choice,” says Cell C's director of marketing, Simon Camerer. “Not only are we making data services more affordable, but we have also simplified the billing process by charging customers for GPRS usage per 1Kb.” Camerer says this is another in a line of innovative products – such as per second billing and country's cheapest prepaid voucher, Half Tiger – which Cell C has introduced to the market in the past three years.