Nashua Mobile, the independent cellular service provider in the Reunert Group, has signalled its intention to become a major player in South Africa's broadband and Internet service provider market by launching its new Nashua Mobile Internet division.
Nashua Mobile Internet offers a full portfolio of Internet access offerings including fixed-line ADSL powered by Verizon; wireless Broadband from iBurst and Sentech; and, of course, cellular technologies (such as GPRS, EDGE, 3G and HSDPA) from all three networks. The division also offers web site design, web site/E-mail hosting, e-commerce, anti-virus, mobile personal information management, anti-spam and systems integration solutions.
Mark Taylor, MD of Nashua Mobile, says: "Nashua Mobile is evolving from a cellular service provider into a telecom solutions firm that offers corporate, private and SME customers a range of services such as least-cost routing (LCR), PABXs, unified messaging and mobile data, in addition to cellular voice. Internet services form a central part of that vision.
"The launch of Nashua Mobile Internet is the culmination of our investments into the Internet market over the past two years. The business includes the operations we acquired from BlackDot IT Solutions last year, as well as the former Nashua Broadband business, which also moved under our roof in 2006.
"The continued liberalisation of the South African Internet market presents Nashua Mobile with a major opportunity to grow revenues and profits, while offering customers access to world-class data and Internet services,” he adds.
The size of the division could eventually rival that of the Nashua Mobile cellular business.
The company's understanding of the mobile environment will differentiate it in the fiercely competitive ISP market. For example, Nashua Mobile will be able to help customers to set up hosted email servers, office and notebook computers, and mobile devices like phones in such a way that their users have seamless access to their calendars and emails wherever they are. It also offers unified messaging solutions that bring together mobile and Internet messaging services in one interface.
Says Taylor: "Not only are voice and data services converging, but fixed-line and mobile services as well. We're positioning ourselves to offer customers an integrated portfolio of services that allow them to keep in touch and be productive wherever they are.
“We are in negotiations with other service providers, and will soon add new voice-over-IP, WiFi hotspot and instant messaging services to our offering. Our goal is to offer clients a choice between all the best services on offer in the country.”
Another advantage that Nashua Mobile Internet offers its customers is the ability to receive and pay a single bill for their cellular and Internet accounts.
"By presenting subscribers with one bill for a range of mobile and Internet services, Nashua Mobile gives them a transparent view of their telecom costs and helps them to manage their telecom environments better. We have created a tiered loyalty programme to provide a range of rewards and incentives for customers according to the amount of business they do with Nashua Mobile."
Nashua Mobile Internet will operate out of Nashua Mobile franchises and stores around the country, as well as through Nashua Mobile's corporate account executives. Sales representatives at all stores have undergone intensive training and have been given a wealth of information about Nashua Mobile Internet's products to ensure that they can give clients sound advice about the options on offer.
Subscribers can visit internet zones at selected Nashua Mobile stores to get a hands-on experience with connectivity technologies such as iBurst and the data offerings from the three cellular operators (options range from store to store according to network coverage). Internet zones have already been rolled out at 22 stores, with more to follow in the weeks ahead.
"Many South African businesses and consumers are struggling to make sense of the complex range of Internet services and options on the market," says Taylor. "Nashua Mobile Internet will act as an independent and objective advisor that helps customers to choose the right solutions for their needs according to price, time for installation and delivery, network coverage and business requirements. Nashua Mobile has traditionally offered customers choice between the country's cellular networks, and we're now bringing choice to the broadband and Internet environment."