At a time when South Africans are feeling the pinch on all fronts, Neotel has launched a home phone service for consumers with local peak rates to all landlines at almost half the price they are currently paying.

The service uses Neotel’s state of the art CDMA network, which the company says provides crystal-clear voice quality.
“We believe that we have hit the nail on the head with this product, particularly in light of the current economic conditions,” says Mukul Sharma, executive head of the Consumer Business Unit at Neotel. “Consumers are feeling the pinch of global and local economic pressures and are continuously looking to save costs, but still stay in touch.”
Neotel’s home phone is available in two packages.
The first allows the consumer to purchase the phone upfront for R599 (including VAT) with a monthly service fee of R99. “During the course of 24 months, a usage discount, of up to R25, will be given back to the consumer, every month. This effectively means that consumers could be reimbursed for the full purchase price of the phone” Sharma says.
The second package does not require upfront payment for the phone and is charged at R199 per month. “On this package users receive 1000 free Neotel-to-Neotel minutes and 200 free SMSs within Neotel’s coverage area. The free minutes are applicable for local, regional and national calls.  In essence, calls between Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban, will effectively be free.”
In addition, all packages operate on true per second billing, for all calls, from the first second onwards. These packages are pending ICASA approval.
A key differentiator of Neotel’s home phone, Sharma says, is the call rates.
“At 34 cents per minute for local peak landline calls and 17 cents per minute for local off peak landline calls, communicating will become more affordable for the consumer,” he says. There is no differentiation between Neotel-to-Neotel peak and off peak rates, which are charged at 17 cents per minute for local calls at all times.
“Neotel’s home phone is a home phone that offers impeccable voice quality, delivery within 48 hours of successful order completion and no installation required,” says Sharma. Consumers can order the product via the Neotel Contact Centre (0800 333 636), or from partner outlets. A further benefit of the home phone is that the service is delivered via a fixed-wireless product. “This eliminates the risk of losing your service due to copper theft,” he says.
This home phone provides consumers, who require a home phone, a competitive alternative, he adds.
“While the product focuses on providing consumers with high quality voice, they also have the option of utilising data, SMS and e-mail, which is provided as part of the service,” Sharma says.