Today, Africom sent a message to its customers through SMS announcing that the Africom CDMA network is now officially interconnected with the Econet mobile network and the TelOne fixed line network. This in addition to the existing Telecel interconnection. Africom also took the opportunity to remind the market that making calls to other networks costs only US 12 cents, less than half of what the incumbent GSM operators currently charge.
Africom launched mobile voice telephony back in June this year, and then only had commercial interconnection with Telecel. In July, test interconnection was made with Econet and it was opened up to all Africom clients but it wasn’t official yet, meaning they could turn it off and on as they finalised the agreements.
Africom still doesn’t have interconnection with NetOne, the second largest mobile operator by subscriber numbers. They obviously need it to provide the ‘full’ voice service. As it is, any subscriber cannot make a complete migration to Africom for voice as they will still need their old provider for calls to NetOne subscribers.
Still, Africom is the one new player that has made significant progress in as far as interconnection with the telecoms incumbents is concerned. We applaud them for that. The other new players, the IAPs, include Spiritage, Aptics, Aquiva Wireless, Telecontract and Blue Sat (Gigatel). Except Spiritage, all the new providers have not interconnected with the incumbents. Spiritage itself has only interconnected with Econet.