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By 15 October 2010 | Categories: news

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Fixed line operator Telkom yesterday officially launched 8ta, the country’s fourth cellular network operator.

Announcing details behind products and services at launch in Johannesburg, 8ta executives claimed their services will be regarded in South Africa as the one that will “get people to talk more”.
 
Managing executive of Telkom Mobile (branded as 8ta), Amith Maharaj, told guests, “We will provide the platform for South Africans to communicate more. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is the start of a new era in mobile phone communication in South Africa. Consumers will at last have a real choice.”
 
Maharaj promised that 8ta products would offer more value than any other network provider. For the first time in South Africa, all prepaid customers will benefit from free talk time to any network every time they receive calls from a mobile phone -1 free second of airtime for every 3 seconds of call received. This benefit is available all day, every day. 
 
Further, calls from 8ta to fixed line will cost 60 % less than typical market rates for similar calls, and there will be a flat rate of R2.50 per minute to over 100 international destinations. Additionally, when you send 5 SMSs in a day, 8ta will give you 50 bonus SMSs at no extra cost to use that same day.
 
The network will also provide prepaid Internet customers with an out-of-bundle rate of R1 per megabyte, while prepaid data bundles can be purchased for as low as 25c per megabyte.
 
8ta has constructed 800 base stations across the country, and plans to construct a further 3 200 base stations over time to improve coverage and connectivity. The services have been built on an end-to-end all-IP 2G and 3G network, which is easily upgradable to LTE (4G).
 
Telkom Group Acting CEO Jeffrey Hedberg said the launch of 8ta was a watershed event. 
 
“We are able to mobilise the reliability of fixed-line and the agility of mobile to provide products that South African people really want.”
 
The launch revealed who was behind the high-profile Heita! campaign, which had begun showing up across the company for the past few weeks.
 
“We wanted to create a brand that builds upon Telkom’s heritage around quality and innovation. At the same time, we realised the need to be simple and to be authentically South African” said Telkom SA managing director Nombulelo Moholi.

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