Johannesburg - Dimension Data [JSE:DDT]
subsidiary Internet Solutions has launched a new voice over IP (VoIP) service for cellphones, designed to bypass cellular networks.
Business manager at Internet Solutions Justin Spratt said the product is aimed at South African companies, which can vastly reduce their telecommunications costs by calling over the internet using WiFi access, instead of cellular networks. He said that WiFi is widespread internationally and available in most offices, restaurants, conference facilities and hotels.
The IS solution is called OnNet VOIS and makes use of a dedicated application that runs on cellphones. According to Spratt, the application is already available to Nokia and Android phones and will soon also be available on iPhone, BlackBerry and the new Microsoft Windows Phone 7.
The service is most efficient over WiFi but can also be used on any other internet connection like 3G.
"We want the people of SA to be able to vote with their wallets. We don't want the current status quo - we want that to change," he said. "South Africa's mobile industry is an R80bn business - and is dominated by one pretty average network and another with a pretty average billing system," he said.
Spratt said countries with comparable macro-economic environments to South Africa can enable more affordable mobile telephony and that he finds it confusing that South Africa is unable to do so.
"Some of these countries have mobile calls available at 20c per minute," he said. "Approximately 70% of phone calls emanate from inside buildings, homes and offices. These can easily be siphoned off the mobile network and done through WiFi and other broadband connections instead.
"In so doing, we can bring the call rate down to under 50c per minute and save up to 30% on calls."
He said that IS has partnered with service provider Nashua Mobile to take the new service to market.