MTN Business, the business communications division of cellular operator MTN, is stepping up its fight with Telkom and alternative network operators with the introduction this week of UniPresence, a fixed-mobile convergence offering.
“We are setting high adoption targets for this product [and] we are talking about a big number. It is true competition to Telkom’s fixed voice environment,” says MTN Business managing executive Angela Gahagan.
UniPresence will allow MTN Business customers to make and receive calls wherever they are and over any available connection, including Wi-Fi, office local-area networks and mobile devices.
The service allows a user to have one number where they can be contacted, whether at their desks or in the cafeteria, says Gahagan.
“True fixed-mobile convergence has not yet happened, but this is the next phase in providing it,” Gahagan says, adding that there is still a lot of work still to be done before there is true convergence between fixed and mobile networks.
Some of the company’s customers have been testing the product for some time and it is now being rolled out commercially.
“We would not have been able to do it if SA didn’t have much cheaper broadband than before and without the boom in the smartphone market,” says Gahagan.
It works with any smartphone that supports the session initiation protocol. Most modern smart devices have the service enabled. However, older devices may not yet be compatible.
The UniPresence product is available immediately in all territories in Africa where MTN Business operates. Customers have to have the UniPresence solution installed at their premises. From there, it is fully managed by MTN Business.
The platform allows for enterprise privacy, protecting corporate information, but Gahagan says it comes with an easy interface to allow users to use one number which is linked to multiple phones, be it office or mobile phone, a software-based phone, or even a home phone.
It also allows users to consolidate their voice mailboxes. — Candice Jones, TechCentral