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8ta powered by Telkom: Pricing and other details



Staff Writer MyBroadband | 14 October, 2010 | Comments

Telkom today launched the country’s fourth mobile operator, 8ta. Here are all the details on pricing, speeds and more

South Africa’s cellular market tonight welcomed its fourth mobile operator, 8ta. 8ta is ‘powered by Telkom’ and was commonly known as Telkom Mobile before the launch tonight.

Telkom is confident that 8ta will make waves in the local mobile space, and the company’s executives claimed their services will be regarded in South Africa as the one that will “get people to talk more.”

Managing Executive of Telkom Mobile (branded as 8ta), Amith Maharaj, said “We will provide the platform for South Africans to communicate more. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is the start of a new era in mobile phone communication in South Africa. Consumers will at last have a real choice.”

Maharaj promised that 8ta products would offer more value than any other network provider. “For the first time in South Africa, all prepaid customers will benefit from free talk time to any network every time they receive calls from a mobile phone – 1 free second of airtime for every 3 seconds of call received,” said Maharaj.

Telkom Group Acting CEO Jeffrey Hedberg said the launch of 8ta was a watershed event. “We are able to mobilise the reliability of fixed-line and the agility of mobile to provide products that South African people really want.”

8ta said that consumers can expect the following from the company:

At launch, 1 pre-paid voice and 1 pre-paid data offering.
Ultimately, 2 pre-paid, 4 post-paid and 3 data offers, vs. hundreds of options from competitors.
Same on-net and off-net rates on pre-paid.
No hidden costs - simple and transparent pricing.
The network

8ta has constructed 800 base stations across the country, and plans to construct a further 3 200 base stations over time to improve coverage and connectivity. Whilst 8ta is still growing its network the operator will have full national coverage, given their roaming agreement with MTN.

The Radio Access Network supports HSPA and is configured for downlink speeds up to 7.2Mbps and can be provisioned to support download speeds of up to 21Mbps. In addition, the network hardware that is deployed allows for a seamless migration to LTE.

A further advantage of the selected dualband network infrastructure is the significant power efficiency realised over other legacy systems (30% improvement). This translates into a very cost effective, sustainable and environmentally friendly network deployment.

The network architecture deployed is a fully IP based network from base station to core. It allows maximum efficiency of the back-haul while providing the relevant prioritisation of mobile service flows, translating into a better quality of service and overall experience for the customer.

“The 8ta network aims to further differentiate itself from its competitors by offering services never before seen in South Africa. In support of this the Core, Applications and Services network makes use of cutting edge technology that is IP based which enables flexible, and innovative capabilities that provide 8ta the ability to quickly introduce new services to the market,” said 8ta.


Voice pricing

According to 8ta calls from them to fixed line will cost 60 % less than typical market rates for similar calls. Calls from an 8ta mobile phone to both Telkom and Neotel fixed lines will be priced at 65c per minute, independent of the time of the call (hence no peak and off-peak rates).

There will also be a flat rate of R2.50 per minute for calls from an 8ta mobile phone to over 100 international destinations.

Mobile to mobile calls will be charged at R1.50 per minute independent of which network is called or which time of the day the call is made.

Users will further be rewarded for receiving calls by getting one second of talk time free for every three seconds which they spend on the phone when someone calls them on their 8ta number.


SMS and MMS

Both SMSs and MMSs are priced at 50c each, but 8ta subscribers will also get 50 bonus SMSs at no extra cost to use that same day if they send 5 SMSs per day.


Data costs

8ta prepaid internet customers will get an out-of-bundle rate of R1 per megabyte, while prepaid data bundles can be purchased for as low as 25c per megabyte.

The prepaid data bundles which will be available at launch are:

100 MB for R50.
250 MB for R100.
500 MB for R150.
1 GB for R250.
The prepaid data bundles purchased in a certain month will last until the end of the following calendar month. Real time billing also comes standard, both for prepaid and future contract customers, 8ta pointed out.


Availability and future plans

8ta will initially only offer prepaid services through a countrywide sales network that includes the major consumer retailers and mobile wholesalers, as well as 132 Telkom Direct outlets across South Africa and the 8ta flagship stores.

“At launch we will be available at Edgars, Jet, CNA, Altech, and Smartcall. Other large retailers, such as Shoprite and Pick ‘n Pay, will be rapidly brought on stream shortly,” 8ta said.

8ta said that they plan to introduce several tiers of devices - low-end, feature phones and smartphones from all the major manufacturers.

8ta said they have plans to bring Android and Blackberry to the market by the end of the year, and are actively working on the plan for an iPhone introduction with their channel partners.

Postpaid 8ta services will be made available in November.

Source
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
They were making quite a noise in the Cape Town CBD this morning. First it was Cell C, now this. Virgin Mobile need to come to the party now...:lol:

Speaking of Virgin Mobile, hopefully 8ta doesn't turn into Virgin 2.0 and end up sucking after the big song and dance.
 

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Their pricing is VERY good. If they make the right noises they can hopefully shake down the house. It is most definately needed
 

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Cell C's newly launched data pricing in Durban and PE is fantastic. R83 for 1.5gig and their new 21m/s
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Yeah Cell C definitely have the better data packages.

They launched services in George this week, which means they cover PE, East London, Bloem, Cape Town, Durban, PMB and George now.
 

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ok, but i thought only durban and pe were on the new platform according to all the media?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
Nope, not at all. Down here they had a big song and dance in Cape Town Stadium a few weeks back.


Cell C mobile broadband arrives in George
Staff Writer MyBroadband | 14 October, 2010 | Comments

Cell C today switched on its HSPA+ network in George, giving residents access to its aggressively priced 7.2 Mbps and 21 Mbps mobile broadband services.

The latest Cell C HSPA+ launch follows the company’s rollouts over the last two months, starting in Port Elizabeth, then Bloemfontein, East London, Cape Town and Durban. A full coverage map is available here: http://www.cellc.co.za/coveragemap

According to Cell C, 87% of the George metro area has UMTS 900 coverage as of today.

Rest of the article
 

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Fingers crossed for this... Virgin mobile has been quite the anticlimax.

Things will be better for the new network once they accommodate Android, BlackBerry, and the iPhone
 

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Telkom enters mobile market

Last week Telkom became the country’s fourth mobile operator with the launch of its 8ta service.

It plans to spend R6bn setting up its mobile network and is aiming to get 12% to 15% of the market over the next five years.

Telkom is hoping its new venture will give it a much needed boost. Revenue from its bread-and-butter fixed-line operation is starting to flatten. Its other new services – like its wireless broadband offering – has failed to gain traction and the problems at its Nigerian subsidiary, Multi-Links looms over the group.

In the midst of all these problems, it has now opted to take on the likes of MTN, Vodacom and Cell C in a game they know very well.

Telkom Mobile (8ta) MD Amith Maharaj is not put off by the challenge and says the group has a unique offering that will draw subscribers to it. Maharaj says one thing 8ta will bring is clarity and simplicity on pricing.

He says subscribers are tired of waiting to call people late in the evening or early morning to use the discounted call rates. He hopes that some of its offering, like a flat rate of R1,50/minute to other mobile operators, will attract them.

At launch, 8ta is only offering pre-paid products but plans to offer contract packages next month and bundled ADSL services sometime next year. The bundled ADSL services are seen by many telecom experts as a possible advantage over other operators, as they will not be able to offer a similar service.

For now, it’s still unclear if Telkom will be able to make a success out of 8ta but what is clear is that anther entrant into the mobile phone will increase pressure to bring down cost – which is good news for consumers.
 

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8ta’s iPad deals leave space for rivals

Telkom’s mobile subsidiary, 8ta, has won the race with its bigger rivals to be the first to bring the Apple iPad to its network.
The iPad arrived in selected SA stores last Friday, with people keenly waiting to find out whether the country’s mobile operators would provide services aimed at the popular tablet device.
“We are proud to be selected as the preferred data provider. We look forward to a long and mutually beneficial relationship with Apple,” 8ta managing executive Amith Maharaj said in a statement on Friday morning.



World Wide Worx MD Arthur Goldstuck says 8ta has made a good opening gambit with the release of its data bundles exclusively for iPad. However, he feels it’s left a gaping hole for competitors to fill.
8ta has released three offerings for the iPad: 512MB of data for R120, 1GB for R160, and 3GB for R299. The data bundles are all prepaid and do not include the iPad itself, which has to be purchased separately at full retail price.
Goldstuck says 8ta’s offer could be attractive to customers used to paying for MTN and Vodacom data. “But these prices will ultimately be compared to Cell C’s data prices, which are much better,” he says.

Cell C rocked the Internet industry last year when it revealed the best mobile data rates in the country. It sells 2GB/month at R149 and 5GB/month at R299, including a modem, on a 12-month contract. These are introductory rates, but there’s no sign the special tariffs will end soon.
MTN and Vodacom still have a lot of work to do if they’re to remain competitive. MTN sells 2GB of data for R389; Vodacom charges R989 for 5GB and R520 for 3GB.

For now, 8ta has first-mover advantage. However, other operators are gearing up to provide similar products.
MTN chief marketing operator Serame Taukobong says the operator will soon begin offering data bundles for the iPad. However, he declines to say when these will be launched. In the meantime, he says MTN customers can use the company’s regular data products on the iPad.
“Micro Sim cards and existing data bundles are already available at MTN branded stores. Customers who have existing MTN data plans may opt to swop these Sims for micro Sims in store,” he says.

Vodacom and Cell C had not responded to calls for comment by the time of publication. — Candice Jones, TechCentral
 
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