Telkom’s wireless solution

2011-08-23 00:00

TELKOM is advising some of its customers affected by rampant phone line theft to switch to its 8.ta. mobile network.

In the past few months predominantly rural communities and businesses in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands have had to contend with frequent cable thefts, which is crippling businesses and has compromised their safety.

Howick, Lidgetton, Nottingham, Mooi River, Boston, Dargle Barnesfield and Richmond, among other areas, have been without lines for months at a time.

Responding to a complaint about the lack of phone line reception, a signed letter from a senior Telkom manager directs a customer in the Richmond area, who declined to be named, to the 8.ta mobile network.

The letter read, “The incidence of cable theft remains high and severely hampers our ability to continue providing a copper-based service in the affected areas …”

“We have concluded, considering the undesirable situation and search for an acceptable alternative, that we can only provide a service to you via our mobile network in an attempt to provide you with an acceptable level of service.”

The letter offers customers who subscribe to its mobile packages free airtime of R50 per month for the initial two months once the mobile service is activated.

In previous communications Telkom spokesperson Pynee Chetty said the company is exploring a number of options to combat the theft of phone cables while restoring service to its customers. Switching to the 8.ta mobile network is one option.

Chetty said that in cases where it has become virtually impossible to eliminate service interruptions, wireless-based products, among others, are offered to customers as an alternative to the normal fixed wire line service.

Attempts to reach Chetty yesterday were unsuccessful.

Telkom suffered almost R3-billion in losses because of cable theft from 2007 to 2009.

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