Telecoms News - In Brief

Telecoms

- Tunisia Telecom announced four new services. For a 20 dinar one-off payment you can now get international roaming on pre-paid phones for longer than one month. Also on pre-paid phones, you can now get a breakdown of the length and cost of calls for 500 millimes. Those paying on bills sent can now see the state of their current bill for 600 millimes by SMS text message. Finally it has launched Mobigroup with allows company employees to connect between themselves for 100 dinars a month plus 16 dinars a month for mantenance.

- MTN, Nigeria’s biggest cellular company, will from August 8, disburse N1,500 worth of free SMS messages to every subscriber on its network. This comes to an equivalent of 100 SMS per subscriber. This will apply only to SMS messages that are sent to MTN numbers (0803). The offer, according to Afam Edozie, MTN’s chief marketing and strategy officer,is primarily a gesture of appreciation to our over one million subscribers whose patronage solely accounts for every success we have recorded in our two years of commercial operations.

- Ugandan telephone operators are opposed to the airtime tax raise in the 2003/04 budget, and want the decision reversed. Celtel Uganda Limited, MTN Uganda and uganda telecom have told the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) and the Finance ministry that the measure could hurt the sector.

- Following a request from mobile operator Cell C, Telkom has agreed to reduce charges for standard time calls between its fixed-line network and Cell C’s mobile network. The Independent Communications Authority of SA has approved the reduction as of 1 August and calls will be reduced by 6c for the first minute and 3c for the next 30 seconds.

- Customers linked to the Uganda telecom mobile network Mango, can now access international roaming and teleconferencing services. The two products, introduced over the weekend, adds value to the network’s overall services and keep the company in a competitive position.

- Mozambique’s publicly-owned telecommunications company, TDM, has announced a massive 35 per cent increase in the price of local calls, taking effect as from 1 August. The cost of a three minute local call rises from 1,800 to 2,430 meticais. But this is before Value Added Tax (VAT) - add VAT at 17 per cent, and the true cost of a three minute call is pushed up to 2,843 meticais.

- A new Angolan cellular phone operator, Omnidata Trading Ltda was launched in Luanda last week.