Telecel Zimbabwe has announced that it has reached the landmark of one million active SIM cards on its mobile network this week, whilst it also said it will launch 2.5G GPRS and 3G W-CDMA services in the next few months. The Orascom subsidiary, which had an official total of 592,000 subscribers at the end of December 2009, has seen a jump in subscriptions following its recent slashing of the price of a pre-paid SIM card to USD2 inclusive of USD1 worth of airtime, whilst its GSM starter packs including a basic handset now begin at USD23. Telecel has also lowered the cost of calls to major international destinations to the same cost as a local call; calls to South Africa, the UK, the US, China, India, Australia, Canada and Dubai are all now charged at USD0.25 per minute. To further encourage take-up and usage, Telecel offers the USD1 ‘Mega Juice’ top-up card which gives purchasers an additional bonus of USD2 free airtime to call other Telecel numbers. Alongside the more affordable service offers, Telecel has beefed up its network coverage during the first four months of 2010 to compete for subscribers in more areas with market leader Econet Wireless as well as third-placed cellco NetOne. Telecel Zimbabwe managing director Aimable Mpore identified the most recent places where base stations have been installed as: Guruve, Insiza, Kotwa, Ngezi, Rushinga, Headlands, Macheke, Arcturus, Esigodini, Mvurwi, Beatrice, Centenary, Goromonzi, Shurugwi, Chatsworth, Juru and Nzvimbo. To take on Econet in the mobile data market, Telecel expects to launch both GPRS and 3G services ‘in the next two months’, enabling services such as MMS-based picture and video messaging, and internet access on cellphones and on computers, using the handset as a modem.