TELECOM RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms

- MTN Nigeria Communications Limited last Monday warned the National Communications Commission (NCC) that they would be held liable for contempt of court should the other GSM operators go ahead to implement the new interconnect rates as announced by the NCC. MTN’s contention is that the court has made an order that the status quo should be maintained pending the determination of the substantive suit. But the NCC, which has another interpretation to the same ruling, maintains that no such order exists from any court.

- The cost of international phone calls from Kenya is set to go down by a hefty 78 percent or Sh20 per minute over the next two years.The projections are based on a decision by the East African network operators to install a Sh15.6 billion (US$200 million) regional submarine cable system, whose aim is to, among others, combat an escalating communication costs in the region. Under the proposed tariff structure, international calls, currently pegged at Sh94 (US$1.2) per minute, will fall by 78 per cent to an all-time low of Sh20, while lease line monthly costs for international Internet connections will fall by a similar margin to Sh243,360 (US$3,120) from the current Sh312,000(US$4000).

- The NITEL territorial office in Taraba is losing N3 million weekly as a result of the collapse of its mast, the Territorial Manager, Mr Adelami Ajibola, has said.He said that if the services were restored, the lost revenue would be recovered within two months.

- In an effort to evolve an institutionalized framework for tackling consumer complaints in the telecommunications industry, the Nigerian Communications Commission, NCC, has been urged to establish a Consumers Complaints Tribunal, to offer consumer instant redress and protection against exploitation by service providers. The proposal was one of the recommendations of a recent customer care workshop organized by the Consumer Affairs Bureau of the Commission. The workshop with the theme "Customers as Ultimate Drivers of Telecoms Development in Nigeria," was aimed at offering customer service practitioners an opportunity to develop a harmonized consumers’ code of practice in the industry and ensuring greater efficiency in customer relations management.

- Senegal’s SONATEL is set to lower its fixed line tariffs from 1 June 2004: 33% on international calls; and 44% on local and national calls.

- Côte d’Ivoire Télécom is putting in place a service to deal with the 100,000 subscibers who still have unpaid bills dating from 1996 to 2003, according to Touré Bruno, Directeur Général Adjoint.

LIRE EN FRANCAIS APRES 15.00 GMT, 3 MAY:
http://www.balancingact-africa.com/news/french.html

- Burkina Faso’s ONATEL has announced full details of its price cuts package identified in issue 202. It has announced a 66.7% cut for calls to France, Italy, Canada and the USA. For full details:

LIRE EN FRANCAIS APRES 15.00 GMT, 3 MAY:
http://www.balancingact-africa.com/news/french.html