Neotel has grown its retail customer base to 70 000 subscribers and hopes to accelerate that growth with the introduction this week of new bundled voice and data products.
Originally licensed as the first rival to Telkom, Neotel has struggled to gain traction in the consumer market but new CEO Sunil Joshi has signalled he is keen to grow this part of the business more aggressively.
Neotel operates wireless code division multiple access (CDMA) and WiMax networks. The new voice and data bundles use its CDMA network of 300 base stations, which Thurston James, the new head of Neotel’s consumer division, says provides coverage to 2m households around the country.
The CDMA network offers download speeds of up to 3,1Mbit/s, he says. New WiMax products, catering for high-end users and small businesses, will be launched in the next two months, he adds.
James says three new CDMA bundles are available on month-to-month packages, or as 12- or 24-month contracts.
The first new product starts at R299/month on a 24-month contract and includes a Neotel cordless phone and a data stick as well as 5GB of monthly data that rolls over for up to three months (to a maximum of 10GB). It also includes 50 anytime minutes to fixed-line and mobile numbers, excluding international calls.
The second product starts at R399 and includes a phone, data stick and a Netgear router to create a home Wi-Fi hotspot. Also included are 5GB of data with rollover and 100 anytime minutes to any network, again excluding international calls. The third offers the same, but includes a higher-end Wi-Fi router from Axesstel.
Two new data-only products are being launched, too: a 2GB package for R99/month (with an upfront modem cost of R399) on a month-to-month contract, and a 3GB/month option on a 12-month contract for R179/month that includes the cost of the data stick.
The out-of-bundle rate on all the contracts is 8c/MB. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral