A few days ago Telecel announced that they are offering a new service – a Virtual Office. The marketing material shared by the telecoms company alluded to the fact that consumers signing up for the service would be enable “working from wherever you are, safely and securely using a private name point.”
How does it work?
We reached out to Telecel to explain how the Virtual Office works and they shared more details regarding the service. Telecel will provide interested parties APNs (Access Point Names) upon request that are typically set up to establish a gateway and terminate their traffic onto a customer’s network.
Access Point Names are the settings your phone reads to set up a connection to the gateway between your mobile network operator (MNO) and the public Internet.
This means organisations signing up for this will have an internal network that can only be accessed by certain users. This is why they are marketing it to schools and workplaces since these will be most likely to share files that need to be accessed by multiple people.
Once a corporate user has established a connection on the corporate APN, the mobile device will be able to exchange data with the customer’s corporate network.Telecel
Telecel says organisations signing up for the Virtual Office will enjoy the following benefits;
- Private APNs ensures business continuity through secure remote access.
- Security – Subscribers that are connected via a private APN are only visible to other devices on the same APN. This makes APNs a superior solution in terms of data security when compared to using public internet APN or any other shared internet access.
- Cost-effectiveness – APNs offers a cost-effective mobile VPN solution due to the ability to aggregate usage as well as competitive data pricing.
- National Coverage – Where ever there is Telecel coverage you can work – giving the national access flexibility
- The private APNs can be created both for P2P (peer to peer – where devices are connected to each other via the internet) and M2M (machine to machine – direct communication between devices using any communications channel)
What do you need to get started?
- Any organisation interested in the service must have Telecel lines which the MNO configures to meet the client’s requirements;
- The client must establish a point of presence – To be able to connect with the client network, the client’s network and Telecel network must appear within the same broadcast domain. To enable this, the client must engage a Service provider (preferably Telone and Liquid) to provide an up-link with Telecel
What are the fees associated with Telecels Virtual Office?
At the time of writing the fees will be structured as follows;
- Corporates will receive no data benefit but will be charged at a special rate of 0.18/MB;
- For the creation of the APN, a once-off fee of $ZWL 5,000 will be charged.
- Telecel will also provide maintenance and support on a monthly basis and this will be charged $ZWL 500 per month.
It’s important to highlight that Zim is very inflationary at the moment so these prices could have changed by the time you read this.