Called the International Roaming Solution, the offering in partnership with AlwaysOn, allows current IS HotSpot customers and other travellers to roam the international Wi-Fi HotSpot networks. Users can access the service either by using their IS contract login details, or buying prepaid airtime before departing the country or while overseas.
Currently IS has provided access in South America and India via it’s partners Vex and Tata Indicom Wi-Fi but will be extending this to wireless HotSpot locations in the United States, Europe and China. These locations include major business centres, airports, leading hotels and various retail locations, including cafes and restaurants.
Says Justin Spratt, HotSpot Business Unit Manager at IS: “Current international 3G rates can cost up to R200 per MB, which can very quickly add up to a costly bill when it is your only form of overseas internet access. Therefore, we have been working hard to set up these value-adding partnerships with international broadband suppliers to give our customers, as well as all other South Africans planning to travel abroad, cheaper and easier mobile access to the internet,”
Rates for the new service will range between R1.29 to R1.50 per minute, with hourly rates starting from R90 per hour. “These bundles can be purchased from our countrywide locations or directly from the IS and AlwaysOn websites when you are overseas,” comments Spratt. “The bundles are also valid and usable nationally, should prepaid users have additional airtime when they return to South Africa,”
“We see this is a key business enabler for our current corporate customers and other companies who do a great deal of business overseas, especially in the current economic conditions when cost cutting and responsible corporate spending are non-negotiable,” says Spratt. “Through our Wi-Fi roaming partnerships, South African travellers can now use a wireless enabled laptop, Wi-Fi phone or other suitable portable device to connect to the Internet, making it more accessible to everyone, no matter where they are in the world.”
— Charl Lombard