How would you being charged for just the first 3 minutes of a call and the rest, no matter how long the call, is free. Internet and VoIP operator, Africom, thinks you’ll love the idea, and that you’ll probably start making more calls. Or even better, that you’ll migrate to their network.
The company announced the new promo this week along with the extension of another data promo they ran over the holidays season. The data promo, which is being extended for 3 months, a 4GB for $25 offering of the Africom’s CDMA mobile broadband service.
We spoke to an Africom executive yesterday and he told us the data promo had proved quite successful, especially getting dormant accounts reactivated which is always good for any operator. In a highly competitive market, Africom’s 1 GB for $25 was just not attractive anymore.
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On the voice side of things, we have no idea how the market will receive this. I personally don’t make calls that long unless it’s a free Skype call, free being the operative word. But that’s probably because I generally have good internet for that free VoIP luxury. The rate for calls to Africom numbers by the way is 6 cents, and to other networks 11 cents, so being charged for 3 minutes works out to a maximum 33 cents per call. Of course, Africom hopes you won’t shoot too far beyond the 3 minutes.
The biggest deterrent for subscribers wanting to migrate to Africom is ofcourse the need to replace your regular phone so you can be on a CDMA network. Yes, there are dual band phones now but still that’s a phone replacement at least. Africom itself (and PowerTel too now) haven’t offered any deliberate solutions to this problem. A swap in your GSM for example, or a financed smartphone on a plan, or something else that just says to the potential customer, ‘we’re taking away the device migration pain.’