Posts tagged ‘MTN’
MTN Rwanda, the country’s largest cellco by subscribers, has launched BlackBerry services on the wireless market, targeting 1,000 customers by the end of the year. It has introduced two devices; the 3G-enabled BlackBerry Bold for RWF430,000 (USD773) and the BlackBerry Curve 8320 on sale at RWF300,000. The cellco’s sales and marketing manager, Yvonne Manzi Makolo, said the device is ‘not for everybody, it is not a mass market product, it is more of a corporate product,’ indicating that MTN Rwanda will target corporate, government and medium-high value customers.
MTN Ghana (formerly Spacefon Areeba) launched its 3.5G service in Ghana on 28 January using high speed downlink packet access (HSDPA) technology. MTN says its new network will offer a range of data-oriented services and provide for more efficient delivery of existing services such as voice, SMS, MMS, and mobile internet access. Local press were given the opportunity to experience the benefits of 3.5G in a specially-constructed phone booth. Going forward, MTN Ghana plans to roll out more HSDPA-enabled phone booths in the capital Accra. In December 2008 Kuwait-based telecoms group Zain launched a 3.5G network in Ghana, having invested more than USD420 million in the country to realise the speedy deployment of the technology – a first for sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa.
According to the Ugandan ICT minister, the number of wireless subscribers rose to 8.2 million at the end of 2008. While addressing a delegation of member countries of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), Ham Mulira added that mobile penetration stood at around 25%.
At the end of September 2008 MTN retained a position of strength in the Ugandan wireless arena, with a market share of 42% (3.23 million subscribers), though this was down from 57.6% 18 months earlier. Zain was next largest, with 1.86 million customers, while UTL had an estimated 1.65 million. Newcomer Warid claimed a laudable million customers at the end of September 2008, or 13% of the market, just eight months after launch.
Mobile Telecommunications Network (MTN) Ghana, the country’s leading GSM service provider, on Wednesday introduced 3.5G technology onto the Ghanaian market.
The technology represents the next generation of mobile communication systems that supports the effective delivery of a range of data-orientated services and brings with it a new suite of exciting multimedia services such as video streaming, games, music videos, sports and news.
It is based on High-Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA), which is a new protocol for mobile telephone data transmission. Mr Mazen Mroue, Acting Chief Executive Officer of MTN Ghana, who launched the new technology, said it also provided more efficient systems for the transmission of existing services such as voice, text and data and supported far greater speeds than what was available now. “I am extremely delighted to announce the roll out of the 3.5G technology which puts MTN on the road to providing leading services to our valued customers,” he said.
He said Accra and Kumasi had been selected for initial coverage under the 3.5G technology, adding that the service would be extended to the rest of the country gradually. Mr. Mroue said the 3.5G services would be rolled out in phases, adding that at this phase of the launch, it involved mobile broadband and video calling that would enable fast data speed and allow users to see and talk to people they called in real time.
He said the introduction of the new technology would complement initiatives aimed at improving the overall network quality.
MTN Nigeria, the country’s largest cellco by subscribers, has announced plans to invest up to USD1.6 billion during 2009, according to Punch Nigeria. The planned investment will help improve the quality of service on its network, which currently covers 90% of the population. Wale Goodluck, corporate service advisor of MTN Nigeria, said the company has invested in building up transmission networks over the past four years in order to make up for the country’s lack of telecoms infrastructure. MTN Nigeria’s wireless subscriber base has grown rapidly over the past three years. The cellco had 20.17 million customers in September 2008, up from 14.95 million a year earlier.
India’s Tata Communications has increased its stake in South Africa’s second national operator (SNO) Neotel by 30%, acquiring shares from government-backed entities Eskom and Transnet. Tata Communications and its local operating arm Tata Africa Holdings now have a majority shareholding in the SNO. ‘We will support Neotel’s efforts to provide global quality telecom services in South Africa,’ said N. Srinath, the managing director and CEO of Tata Communications. Ajay Pandey, MD and CEO of Neotel, commented: ‘This transaction further allows Neotel to leverage on Tata Communications’ proven and vast global network of tried and tested technologies in countries such as India with similar telecoms landscape to South Africa.’
Separately, South African cellular operator Vodacom is reportedly lining up to participate in a ZAR2 billion (USD197 million) 5,000km national fibre-optic cable project involving Neotel and rival mobile firm MTN which was announced last week. Vodacom is thought likely to join the partnership once fixed line operator Telkom has divested its 50% stake. One source close to the deal told local newspaper Business Day: ‘Vodacom will join in the collaboration. It can’t at the moment because it has Telkom as a shareholder, but they are going through the divorce.’ Vodacom had been planning to deploy its own national fibre network, but joining with Neotel and MTN will offer significant savings on rollout costs.
MTN is buying a 69.38 percent stake in Verizon South Africa, a unit of U.S.-based Verizon Communciations, for an undisclosed amount to help it better compete with rivals such as Dimension Data in the corporate communications market.
Verizon Business South Africa provides telecommunications to corporate customers in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and Kenya.
South African technology firm Altech had initially objected to the deal on grounds it would give MTN too much control of the local communications market, but withdrew its opposition on Wednesday. The Competition Tribunal said on Thursday it had approved the deal without conditions.