Telkom intros full prepaid international roaming services

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Telkom Mobile has joined other South African mobile operators in offering full international roaming services to its prepaid and top-up customers.

Telkom customers who previously could only use SMS roaming can now have full access to roaming in the UK, US, United Arab Emirates, Botswana, Mozambique, Germany, Zambia, Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Turkey, Italy, Cameroon and Lesotho.

Clients now have access to voice, SMS and data services, effective immediately, Telkom announced.

The mobile operator says COVID-19 has impacted almost all businesses across the globe, and Telkom is no exception. “We have certainly seen a significant decline in our roaming traffic and revenues, understandably.”

However, it notes, it is ready to expand its service offering in new markets and territories.

Telkom has a prepaid customer base exceeding 12 million, where it says it can add value, and the rates will essentially be similar to postpaid rates.

“As such, we are thrilled to introduce this proposition to our prepaid customers. We have all the tools in place to succeed, including global supplier competencies, IT services and network support,” says Andrew Dawson, executive product portfolio management at Telkom.

“This is a good opportunity for Telkom that will enable us to provide roaming services to previously excluded customers, resulting in an improvement in our overall customer experience.”

Telkom customers can activate international roaming through the telco’s self-service platforms, either via the Web site or on USSD *180#, while Android device users can use the Telkom app to activate the service.

Other telcos have been offering prepaid roaming for some time.

On MTN's network, prepaid customers are by default activated for international roaming. If a customer wishes to change the default option to use either SMS only, data only or to deactivate roaming services, this can be done by the customer using the USSD service *135#.

Similarly, Vodacom has had prepaid international roaming for years.

Cell C enabled international roaming for its prepaid subscribers in 2018, and a year later, the business activated international roaming as a default value-added service on prepaid SIM cards, thereby negating the need for customers to contact customer care to activate the service.

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