Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Voice Calling Wi-Fi Service to Launch in South Africa

South African Wi-Fi provider AlwaysOn will launch a new Wi-Fi calling service in the country, giving subscribers the ability to seamlessly make calls from Wi-Fi hotspots that will be routed to any mobile network, by dialing as usual from their mobile phones. AlwaysOn is South Africa’s largest Wi-Fi network, with 2,200 hotspots across South Africa alone, and it currently has close to one million customers per month using its Wi-Fi network for internet access. Calls to all other AlwaysOn users are free, and calls to fixed line and mobile numbers are charged at ZAR 50.00 (US $4.07) per hour, on a per-second basis. AlwaysOn’s calling service will be launched first on Android devices. AlwaysOn’s partners include McDonalds, Airports Company SA, City Lodge Hotel Group, Woolworths and Holiday Inn.

The adoption of public Wi-Fi is growing rapidly in South Africa, particularly in spaces such as shopping malls, restaurants, banks and hotels. Whether for email, surfing the web or downloading videos, when possible more and more people are off-loading their mobile data from the more expensive mobile networks onto Wi-Fi. We think AlwaysOn’s new calling service will appeal to many consumers who are looking for cost savings, especially in light of the extensive mobile tariff hikes that have recently taken place in South Africa.  If the service proves to be as seamless as it is meant to be, we think it may well rattle the cages of the MNOs, even if just by exerting pressure to lower prices. But if OTT and VoIP services end up seriously eating into operators’ revenues down the road, we will not be surprised to see the mobile operators begin to partner with third parties so that they themselves might offer Wi-Fi offloading directly to their subscribers.

The above item appeared in a recent issue of The Tarifica Alert, a weekly resource that analyzes noteworthy developments in the telecoms industry from around the world. Contact Tarifica for a subscription to the Tarifica Alert. 
Tarifica is the leader in monitoring and analyzing telecom pricing, covering hundreds of operators in every region of the globe. Tarifica’s databases of mobile and fixed line data and voice tariffs are among the largest and most in-depth in the world. Tarifica is also a leading publisher of benchmark and other pricing reports, and its analysts are recognized authorities in the telecom industry, relied upon by operators and businesses worldwide for pricing insight and guidance. Click here to contact a Tarifica Analyst.

No comments:

Post a Comment