Vodacom's new WebBox provides affordable and easy Internet access using the customer's existing television set.
"I'm thrilled about our latest innovation because it's going to change the face of Internet connectivity in South Africa," says Romeo Kumalo, commercial director at Vodacom SA. "It is estimated that just over 10% of the South African population has access to the Internet; this device will ensure that Internet access is available to many more South Africans who previously had limited or no access."
The WebBox has been developed specifically for customers in emerging markets, where technology and cost barriers exclude many from enjoying affordable and easy Internet access.
It is a keyboard that comes with a SIM card and an inbuilt modem which provides a simple user interface, enabling users to navigate easily between the services which include Internet browsing, SMS and e-mail messaging. Other services include FM radio and an online photo album as well as games and video and music players.
"The value that this product will add to schools, homes and small businesses is potentially dramatic. The wealth of knowledge that is available on the Internet can now be accessed by millions of South Africans which will add greater value to the South African economy," says Kumalo.
Vodacom's WebBox users the Opera Mini browser which compresses data by up to 90% providing faster and more affordable Internet browsing.
The WebBox will be available at all participating Vodashops and selected Vodacom outlets from 15 February 2011 and will be priced at R749.00 including VAT. The offer includes a 2Gb SD Card, a prepaid SIM card and 100Mb of data valid for the three months. It will soon be available on a 24-month contract.