Celtel, a subsidiary of Kuwait’s MTC Group, has announced the expansion of its so-called borderless ‘One Network’ group roaming agreement to include the Republic of Congo, Gabon, and Democratic Republic of Congo. This comes nine months after the successful launch of One Network in East Africa. In September 2006, Celtel offered its customers in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda the opportunity to move freely across geographical borders without roaming call surcharges and without having to pay to receive incoming calls. Following the extension into Central Africa, post-paid and pre-paid Celtel subscribers in all six countries will now be able to make calls at local rates, receive incoming calls free of charge and top-up their pre-paid phones with locally-bought airtime cards. Alternatively, Celtel’s pre-paid customers may top up their accounts with airtime cards bought from their home networks, whichever country they are in. Abdoulie Janneh, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, said of the One Network: ‘We warmly welcome the extension of One Network, which will provide a significant boost to intra-African trade. By better linking markets across regions, by improving connectivity and lowering costs of cross border trade, we are giving domestic businesses new opportunities to grow and are encouraging larger multi-national producers to serve better-connected African markets from within the region.’
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