Telkom has launched its mobile offerings for business, proclaiming it will lead in fixed-mobile convergence and in cloud computing in the business market in SA and saying it is looking forward to be an “attacker” in the mobile space.
Brian Armstrong, MD of Telkom Business, says fixed-line operators around the world have traditionally taken a defensive line in protecting their businesses. “But,” he says, “in mobile, we’re looking forward to being the attacker for a change.”
The company has introduced aggressive launch promotions on mobile data and voice, offering smartphone and tablet computer bundles that undercut its rivals.
Armstrong says the test of its success in the business market — which it’s coming to more than 15 years after the first GSM services were launched in SA — will be how well it is able to execute on its strategy in both converged solutions and cloud computing. Armstrong says Telkom Business has a “well developed programme” for improving its service delivery capabilities, creating “product leadership” and improving customer relationship management.
The launch of Telkom Business Mobile comes 11 months after the company introduced its first mobile offerings aimed at the consumer market under the 8ta brand. In that market, it has been particularly aggressive, offering mobile broadband products for less than 2c/MB, which its bigger rivals have said are not sustainable.
Armstrong says Telkom is a changed organisation and is adapting to competitive market conditions much faster than before. “From the time we took the decision to launch the mobile business to 8ta’s launch [last October] was nine months,” he says. “Nobody in the world has done it faster.”
Telkom Business believes its new offerings will provide corporate customers with savings of up to 25% over what its rivals such as MTN and Vodacom currently offer. “The cost saving opportunities for fixed-mobile convergence are very compelling,” he says. “The offers we are launching today are 17-21% below the published tariffs of our competitors.”
The company is promising “free” mobile calls between a company’s employees for a “small, flat-rate fee”. It’s also offering bulk bandwidth and voice minutes, so companies can purchase up to 1m minutes of voice, for example, and distribute that to their employees as they see fit. The same applies to data.
Armstrong believes there is strong potential in the mobile broadband space, where he says chief information officers are struggling to control the proliferation of 3G data cards. “They don’t know how much they are spending on it and they’re not getting economies of scale from buying from one provider,” he says. — Duncan McLeod, TechCentral
- TechCentral will bring you an interview with Brian Armstrong later on Thursday