TELECOM RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms

- The Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA), the ICTs national regulator has issued the Determination on Interconnection rates between as well as fixed to mobile networks, between mobile operators. The determination made on 30 June 2004 will become effective on 1 August 2004. The new rates will as follows:

The determination followed a cost study by M/S Analysis Consulting (UK) commission by the regulatory authority. Prior to this the interconnection rate ranged between USD10.0 to USD17.5.

- Nigeria's SNO Globacom is to extend its services to Awka, Onitsha and Mkpor.

- Nigeria's regulator the NCC is threatening to take action against MTN for the scarcity of its recharge cards. It said that if the service provider is found culpable, the NCC would not hesitate to sanction it.

- Kenya's Safaricom has this week announced a new Prepaid tariff - Sema - aimed at giving subscribers increased pricing options to match their lifestyles. The Sema tariff now becomes Safaricom's fifth Prepaid tariff offering and follows the introduction of Traveller tariff, which is a Prepaid Roaming tariff. Notably, the new Sema tariff features a more convenient dawn to dusk off peak rate that allows Safaricom subscribers make their calls at a cheaper cost starting from 6.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m. as opposed to Safaricom's other off-peak tariffs which start at 8.00 p.m.

- Celtel's Sierre Leone operation last week told users that they could make short calls for the lower price of 5 cents per unit.

- Nigeria's VMobile launched a free reconnection offer, giving affected subscribers the opportunity to get back on the network and reclaim "lost airtime" without any financial commitment. The reconnection offer tagged "Coolest Comeback", which began yesterday, will enable subscribers whose lines have been disconnected to save N5, 000. Previously, customers paid N5, 000 fee for every line reconnected. The 60 days offer will end on September 30, 2004.

- The Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) has started identifying companies that will bid to provide telecommunication services in 154 sub-counties which the current providers do not reach.