TELECOM RATES, OFFERS AND COVERAGE

Telecoms

- The Independent Communications Authority of SA had approved lower call charges from the Telkom network to Vodacom subscribers in 2004, the fixed line operator said late on Monday last week. Telkom owns 50 percent of Vodacom and the remaining stake is held by Britain’s Vodafone and local company VenFin. "We’ll lower our charges by 4c to be on par with charges to other cellular operators," said a Telkom official. This means subscribers will now pay the same for a call from a Telkom line to Vodacom and its rivals, MTN Group and Cell C.

- Tanzania’s Vodacom officially launched its newly commissioned sites in the Southern regions of Mtwara and Lindi at the end of this week.

- Kencell Communications Ltd last week revised up its charges for international Short Message Services (SMS). "Effective from midnight today all international SMS will cost Sh10 up from Sh5.13," a statement by the company said. The statement, however, indicated that the tariff for local SMS will remain at Sh5.13 per message.

  - Ghana Telecom has installed new Alcatel switches at the Tanoso, Buokrom and Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) exchanges in Kumasi. With this, direct telephone lines in each of the three exchanges had gone up from 500 to 5,000 lines.