Internet service provider MWeb is reselling Vodacom products and mobile phones as of this week.
MWeb Business head of products Herman Jansen van Rensburg says MWeb now resells basic Vodacom contract packages, as well as some top-up options.
"There are many businesses now playing in the converged space, and it made sense for us to do the same thing."
He says voice was the only aspect of the communication space the company has not yet tapped into. "We also do VOIP, so the only thing we don't do [until now] is mobile voice," he adds.
According to Jansen van Rensburg, it is the last addition to the company's portfolio of data and voice options. "It is what the customers are looking for. Mobile is the last leg of closing the loop."
"It makes strategic sense to be including mobile voice, especially since the mobile phone is now being increasingly used for Internet access," he says.
MWeb sees the market heading in the direction of providing a number of disparate services as a bundle. "Customers are saying, while they want many different services, from DSTV to broadband, they want to get it from the same vendor and to pay the same vendor."
He says as customers' requirements become more blurred between data and everything else, companies must start offering solutions that are equally diverse. "We will be providing all our customers with a single point of contact."
Jansen van Rensburg says the company is selling mobile phone contracts in shaped packages with other products, such as ADSL. "The value for customers is that they will only have a single point of contact," he adds.
ISP or telco?
Internet service providers are moving towards the telecommunications provision space and telcos are moving towards providing services, says Jansen van Rensburg. "Neotel is doing it all at the same time, and it's a tricky thing to get right."
MWeb says it is negotiating a low price point; however, Jansen van Rensburg could not immediately disclose the anticipated prices.
Clients using the company's new hosted exchange often ask MWeb to configure the service on mobile phones, he notes, which gives the company an advantage when offering the service with the mobile phone contracts.
"Bundling the hosted exchange and mobile phones is not that easy for others to do, but we have been doing it already. We have a clear understanding of how it should work and which phones are compatible."
He says the hosted exchange offering, bundled with mobile contracts and ADSL, will be targeted at the enterprise market.