Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Celtel extends ‘One Network’ to six countries

Pan Africa mobile communication operator, Celtel, has extended its free roaming service, otherwise known as ‘one network’ to six nations on the continent.

Champion Infotel recalls that in September 2006, Celtel offered its customers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda the opportunity to move freely across geographical borders without roaming call charges and without having to pay to receive incoming calls.

At the weekend, the telco said it has scrapped roaming charges for its users in six countries, in readiness to extend its world’s first borderless mobile network to more countries in East Africa.

This is coming as the telco also said its advancing plans to expand the service to 15 nations in Africa.

The One Network service allows Celtel subscribers to make calls at local rates and receive free incoming calls in countries where it operates.

Chief executive, Celtel Kenya, Mr. David Murray said, “We have extended the one network from Tanzania , Kenya and Uganda to the Democratic Republic of Congo, Congo and Gabon. This is a world first.”

He stressed that telephone links between many African countries have traditionally been bad and in many cases cell phone users could not send text messages to other users on the continent.

Speaking last September in Kampala, Nairobi, and Dar es Salaam during simultaneous press briefings, Celtel management informed that this was only the beginning of their efforts to connect Africa as no other mobile phone operator has been able to do to date, and that their efforts would not stop within East Africa.

However, Mr. Murray noted that a year later, the service is now gearing towards including three other countries within Central Africa.

A press statement from Celtel International quoted its chief executive, Mr. Moez Daya, as saying, the telco was delighted to bring 160 people from East and Central Africa closer and together through One Network.

“In a region historically dependent on freedom of movement across borders, we are now offering a communications solution that fits the needs of our customers, breaking down barriers and making life better for businesses, families and individuals from West to East. We have made the service easy to use and convenient by putting in place more than 140,000 places where our customers can buy airtime,” he said.

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