TELECOM RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms

* MTN Nigeria's Virtual Top Up is facing local press criticism. According to the Daily Champion, virtual credit vending depends on the literacy level of the subscribers and the Short Messaging Service (SMS) systems in place. As one subscriber told the paper, "at times when you load with recharge cards, it takes up to 48 hours to receive acknowledgement and at times less than that, but most often not immediately, especially on telecom networks, including the Fixed Wireless operators". To this end, it may take some time to convince such a person to pay for airtime and wait for it to be sent to him through SMS, some 48 hours later. Some SMS also get lost on transit, therefore, undelivered, thereby hindering the idea of sending loved ones airtime, mostly at emergency situations.

- Millicom Sierra Leone will extend its cellular network to Makeni and Kono on the next few weeks. The Chief Operations Officer, Gareth Townley said further that, "these new coverage areas, and our soon to be introduced "Leone Top-Up" cards, shows that Millicom Sierra Leone Limited remains committed to providing the nation with the essential commodity of communication at the lowest cost for the people of Sierra Leone."

- Telkom Kenya has announced plans to launch a wireless phone system in the South Coast. The company's chief marketing officer Bernard Rubia said the launch is set for next month to coincide with the Mombasa Agricultural Society of Kenya (ASK) show that takes place between August 24 and 29. Rubia said Telkom Kenya had lost millions of shillings to vandalism and the firm was responding to the menace through installation of the wireless phone system.