Heita! Telkom tunes the market

2010-10-17 09:34

Telkom’s cellphone network, 8ta, which is behind the Heita! campaign that has intrigued the country for weeks, has taken the battle for control of the mobile phone market up a notch.

The fourth competitor in the ­domestic cellphone market ­announced the service at a gala event this week.

Telkom SA managing director Nombulelo Moholi said: “We want to establish Telkom as a serious player in the cellphone ­industry. Our aim is to disrupt the industry.”

Telkom’s cellphone network is a newcomer in a relatively saturated market and will need an aggressive game plan to compete with Vodacom, MTN and Cell C.

World Wide Worx chief Arthur Goldstuck said the introductory 8ta voice tariffs seemed to be a fair proposition for consumers.

“I am, however, disappointed with their SMSes. Everybody in the industry knows that the real cost of SMSes is very low. It is so low that it is difficult to quantify it.”

One of the ways in which 8ta hopes to attract loyal consumers is by rewarding them for time talked and SMSes sent.

It will give the consumer 50 free SMSes a day for every five that are sent on that day.

This, said Goldstuck, showed that Telkom only wanted the ­income from five SMSes and did not really care about how much consumers spent.

Current Telkom clients, he added, could look forward to Telkom’s contract products, which will be on the market in November.

Telkom Mobile managing executive Amith Maharaj said all prepaid 8ta customers will benefit from free talk-time to any network every time they receive calls from a ­mobile phone – one free second of airtime for every three seconds of call received.

Calls from 8ta to fixed lines will cost 60% less than market rates.

A new call centre and new IT systems have also been put in place.

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