South African mobile services company Telkom Mobile’s launch of the prepaid tariff offering SIM-SONKE (a play on the Nguni word sisonke which means ‘togetherness’) has been introduced to meet the demand for affordable mobile services – a need which the company claims is common across all communities.
On Thursday 11 June, Attila Vitai, Managing Director, Telkom Mobile, told ITNewsAfrica, “We are trying to be the consumer champions here. We see that as our role, as part of Telkom. We think that the rates currently being charged by network operators in this country are very high relative to people’s disposable incomes – much higher than many countries inEurope. We figured it was a good opportunity to look at that and see what we can do to make it more affordable.”
The SIM-SONKE Per-Second Prepaid tariff is only available on the Telkom Mobile Network and services, including SMS, MMS, data and voicemail, are only available within areas covered by the Network.
Other conditions with the service include the fact that data and SMS/MMS bundles are excluded (although consumers can use airtime for calls, SMS/MMS and data) and BlackBerry Internet Services and BlackBerry Social & Email Plan is also excluded.
In terms of rates, the offering will mean that users will pay 29 cents per minute on per-second billing for calls to any Telkom Mobile number, and 75 cents per minute on per-second billing to any other SA mobile and national land line numbers (Telkom and Neotel).
Recharges from R5 to R19.99 will get five free SMS’ valid until 23:50 on the date of recharge and will qualify fro free night calls from a SIM-SONKE number to another SIM-SONKE number.
Recharging with R20 or more will result in 20 free SMS’ for seven days and being eligible for free night calls from SIM-SONKE number to another SIM-SONKE number.
Telkom Mobile has placed a strong emphasis on community buy-in as part of its go-to-market strategy for SIM-SONKE.
Chris Tredger, Online Editor