iBurst has been busy with an aggressive attack on the consumer market, culminating today in radically-reduced prices for voice calls. This follows reports yesterday that the company will soon offer customers a choice of broadband connectivity options including ADSL and 3G.
In today's announcement, iBurst has significantly reduced the call rates on its iCall voice service while keeping iCall to iCall telephone calls free.
“Not only have we made voice communication more affordable for iCall subscribers, iBurst is helping to make the local telecoms sector more competitive by continuously fine-tuning our voice offerings,” says Alan Knott-Craig Jnr, MD of iBurst.
From 1 March, iCall subscribers will by paying 18% less for national peak time calls, 10% less for national off peak calls, 19% less for cellular peak time calls and 11% less for cellular off peak calls. International savings are dependent on destination but iCall subscribers can expect savings of over 50% on calls to countries such as the UK, US, China, Australia and France.
Ironically, with iCall, it is cheaper to call a landline number overseas than it is to call Cape Town from Johannesburg from a traditional landline.
iBurst now has interconnection agreements in place with all South African telecommunication networks and iCall subscribers are therefore able to receive incoming calls from the customers of any network.
iCall subscribers will pay a subscription fee of R50.00 per month which includes an iCall Telephone number and free iCall to iCall calls. To make international, national, local and mobile calls pre-paid vouchers need to be purchased and are currently available in R100.00 and R200.00 denominations.
Knott-Craig confirms that iBurst is targetting the consumer and SME markets with the iCall product.
He adss that, from 1 April, iBurst will also offer customers a choice of broadband connectivity options, such as ADSL and 3G, to complement iBurst's own network offering.
"We just can't build our own network fast enough," he says. "We want to grow our market share but we have physical contraints.
"We get thousands of calls from people looking for a broadband connection and we only convert less than 10% of those people, because we're not going to guide them to a wrong decision. We can now ask them what they need and figure out the best solution for them."
Knott-Craig believes iBurst will be able to differentiate itself from other providers offering a choice of connectivity options through innovation and customer service.
The company, one of the few to have been granted a WiMax license, is currently working on "productising" its WiMax service, which will be targetted at the corporate market – competing with high-end ADSL and Diginet offerings.
iBurst has also launched its new Webfone to complement its iCall service.
The Webfone, which also functions as a modem, simply plugs into a laptop or desktop computer to let users surf the Internet after subscribing to iBurst’s wireless broadband service.
The Webfone weighs 750g and has a co-linear antenna, making it portable and easy to use.
It offers call transfer, call waiting, call holding, three way conversation, volume control, mute, speaker phone, speed dial, redial, call number display, a maximum of 10 call records and a 100 number capacity phone directory.