Neotel has taken the wraps off its first consumer product, the NeoConnect Prime bundle, which is now available in parts of Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The NeoConnect Prime package has had customers since March 2008 as part of the commercial testing phase. The pilot phase has been successfully completed and the first of the commercial bundles has now been made available by Neotel.
Initially, the company intends to address primarily those consumers who have already approached Neotel and have registered for the services during the pilot phase. However, a formal public announcement, with a wider range of bundle options, will be made during of May.
The NeoConnect product was designed after conducting in-depth consumer research.
“We picked up a number of pain points for consumers during this research process, including the issues relating to the perceived speed and capacities for internet access, lack of voice quality and reliability, the complexity associated with obtaining & setting-up services and a lack of true value for the customer,” says Ajay Pandey MD and CEO at Neotel. “We believe that we have addressed these points in the design of our offering to consumers.”
The NeoConnect product handles a number of different tasks such as internet access, voice and SMS over a single connection and service.
Built on the CDMA2000 EVDO network, it provides customers with high-speed internet access and combines the best of fixed-line and mobile. The current peak speed offered is 2,4Mbps and Neotel expects an average user experience ranging between 300kbps to 700kbps.
Future upgrades will see even faster speeds brought to the market.
“A key differentiator in our product is its ease of use – it will take you next to no time to install and start using the service”, says Pandey.
This first bundle introduced by Neotel includes 1000 Neotel-to-Neotel voice minutes, 50 Neotel-to-Neotel SMS’s, an email account and free internet access up to 10Gb of data for a monthly charge of R599.00. This price is inclusive of all monthly fees such as device charges and service rentals, as well as VAT.
Consumers would additionally have to pay for out-of-bundle usage charges. These include telephone charges ranging from 17 cents per minute for local Neotel-to-Neotel calls and off-peak Neotel-to-Telkom calls to a maximum of R1.76 per minute for peak-time Neotel-to-mobile calls
“We are very excited about the introduction of this product into the market, as we believe it addresses several pain points highlighted by consumers during our extensive market research,” says Pandey. “This is just the first of a number of packages we will bring to the market and we believe that customers will not only find value in what we offer, but will be able to choose a package that best meets their needs.”
Pandey adds that additional packages will be made available to consumers next month. “There will be packages that address lower usage and are therefore lower in price, and then of course there will be those packages that directly speak to high-end consumers,” he concludes.