TELECOM RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms

* Celtel Kenya has introduced an interactive voice response system (IVR) at its Nairobi call centre. Gerhard May, the Chief Executive Officer, said the new facility would enable subscribers access customer services faster and efficiently. "With customer service forming our principle business value, we are delighted to enhance our client's interface with Celtel's customer care," he said. IVR is an integrated call management system that enables customers to have issues resolved through a pre-recorded voice and programmed menu. It has since gained popularity as effective management tool and has been deployed extensively in many countries.

* Cote d’Ivoirian mobile operator Loteny Telecom and wireless equipment supplier Harris Corporation, have completed a network expansion programme in the country. Under the terms of the deal, Harris has provided Loteny with PDH and SDH microwave radio links and services to enable the cellco to deploy voice, video and data communications services, as well as managing the design and installation of the new network. Loteny Telecom launched services in September 1996 under the brand name Telecel. At the end of September 2004 it claimed 750,925 customers and was the country’s largest cellco.

* Globecomm Systems has announced that the Company has launched a new managed mobile network services platform into Africa utilizing the Company's award winning (patent-pending) Internet Protocol ("IP") network architecture.Both existing and new cellular operators throughout Africa represent the target market for this platform. Existing cellular operators can now outsource parts of their network infrastructure to Globecomm in areas where it is not cost effective to serve small user groups ranging from 500 to 10,000 potential subscribers.

* Ghana Telecom (GT) is to introduce a pre-pay phone system as part of the company’s 2005 expansion plans. The new system will allow the incumbent to reduce customer complaints concerning bills and reduce high bill defaulting which has cost GT billions of cedis in lost revenues. GT says it also plans to roll out a further 750,000 mobile lines in the coming year and will install a new switch at Kumasi to provide additional capacity in the north of the country within three years.

* The Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation has start issuing prepaid mobile phone cards for customers that were registered between April 11 and July 10, 2003. ETC will provide only 25,000 prepaid cards for those registered in Addis Ababa.