When we posted the article about Africom’s very low voice tariffs last week, one of the readers commenting on the article expressed doubt that the Africom network has interconnection with the other voice networks (Econet, Telecel, NetOne and TelOne) to allow subscribers to make off-net calls. This week, we visited Africom and sadly found out this actually is the case. Well, partly.
According to Africom officials we spoke to, the date and voice operator only has live interconnection with Telecel. Interconnection with Econet will come sometime later this month and as for state owned operators, NetOne and TelOne, much later. No one is saying how much later this is but our guess is later than June.
It’s not like NetOne and TelOne have ‘that’ many subscribers to cause Africom any sleepless nights, but for subscribers, not being able to call certain networks is a big deal. It’s in fact a deal breaker or at the very least, what will cause a lot of ‘wait and see’.
Speaking to an Africom official we were told the launch of voice before completing interconnection was not without deliberate intent. The focus is on corporate customers for now he explained. “We’re not ignoring the consumer market, but we have a solid case for businesses to cut down telecommunications costs immediately”, he said, “Businesses can see the immediate value of making calls within a closed user group (CUG) and they’re excited. If anything, they’re asking why we waited so long”.
Africom is offering corporate customers some packages that allow company employees to make free calls within the company.
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