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By 24 February 2022 | Categories: feature articles

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If there is one human imperative that the last two years have highlighted, it is the need people have to communicate and connect with one another. At a recent event with Talk360 in Bryanston, entrepreneur Dean Hiine explained how its Voice Over IP (VOIP) app aims to help people do just that.

Hiine explained that the genesis of Talk360 from its inception five years ago was to help in breaking through communication barriers. Now, the company has successfully grown such that its reach is global, from the Netherlands and India to Lagos and Johannesburg.

“When we started Talk360, our aim was to provide options for people to communicate. Talk360 as a company intended to answer a particular gap in the market,” he continued.

He noted that while users have the large network operators and peer to peer services (like WhatsApp) the latter in particular have their challenges in Africa, where internet penetration still lags. This impacts on the user experience of their product, particularly in rural areas.

“Talk360 is particularly intended for those living in remote areas, to help them bridge the digital divide. While we started developing our business in developed countries, our aim has always been to be available wherever someone buys bread,” he elaborated.

Addressing the elephant in the room – the telco’s domination of the market - Hiine pointed out that at present the large telcos' biggest focus is not voice, but rather data and enabling data services. The primary ambition of Talk360, he stressed, is to be the leading VOIP player that enables people to connect globally and affordably. 

To that end, Talk360’s offering is pretty compelling. It enables its users to call any mobile or landline in the world, but, unlike other apps, the person one is calling doesn't need the app installed, nor do they have to be online. In fact, the company notes that because one is making a calling from their registered number, the receiver won't even notice that you are calling them with an app.

You, however, do need to have a stable connection, either through Wi-Fi or mobile data. That means that when abroad, roaming charges would still apply if you are using the app to make a call while on a 4G/5G connection. However, in the scenario where a Talk360 user for example is sitting in a hotel in Barcelona with a good Wi-Fi connection, and calling a loved one in a rural town in South Africa, they wouldn’t incur roaming charges, and it would work much the same as making any local VOIP call.   

It is this kind of scenario that Talk360 is particularly geared towards addressing. Indeed, as we have an increasingly remote workforce, with dispersed working across different geographies becoming the new norm, it is heartening to know that this living in under-served areas dont necessaily have to wait till their loved ones visit physically in order to connect. 

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