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Poket Mobile debuts in SA, extending list of MNVOs

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Poket Mobile CEO Edwin Anderson, addressing guests at the launch.
Poket Mobile CEO Edwin Anderson, addressing guests at the launch.

Poket Mobile entered SA’s mobile market on Friday as the newest mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), promising competitive rates on data and voice calls.

UPDATE

ITWeb has been informed by the company that incorrect information was provided at the launch event. We have now republished this article with the correct details as subsequently supplied to us.

The new service was introduced under the Mbinga Network brand and operates through an agreement with FREI, a mobile virtual network enabler operating in SA.

FREI has an upstream agreement with Cell C that allows it to launch MVNOs that are mutually agreed between parties, while Cell C makes use of capacity on the MTN network at its own discretion.

Poket Mobile is a concept formulated by Johannesburg-based funeral insurance group Zororo Phumulani. It expands the growing list of MNVOs in the country, which includes PnP Mobile, Virgin Mobile, Mr Price and FNB Connect.

Speaking at the launch in Midrand, CEO Edwin Anderson said: “We have tested everything and we are now live. We are now offering a network recognised in South Africa. We offer data, voice, SMS and other solutions.”

The Zimbabwean-born entrepreneur promised network quality through Poket Mobile’s collaboration with established mobile operators.

According to Anderson, Poket Mobile is ready for the market despite the intensifying competition between mobile operators in SA.

“Connectivity has become a basic need. We are aware that the competition is stiff across SA in the mobile industry and one could wonder why I should be on Poket Mobile. We have the cheapest data and voice on the market. For example, 30-day 1Gig is R95 on our network; I bet you that if you check how much 30-day 1Gig [is on other networks], you will actually see that we are the cheapest in SA.

“We are sure that when you come to our network, you are able to receive the best services at the lowest prices and our calls are 0.66c per minute. We have a fixed charge; as long you are calling in SA we have a flat fee, which is also the cheapest in the market.

“Joining our network is fast and simple − we do it through the app, Poket Money. In two minutes, you are up and running. If you have any number that you want to keep, we give you the privilege to do so. You are guaranteed to maintain your number within out network.”

The businessman said besides offering competitive rates, Mbinga Network will also create employment opportunities through its call centre that will offer services in all South African languages, and has added three more: Shona, Ndebele and Chewa.

Zimbabwean ambassador to SA David Hamadziripi, who was the guest of honour at the launch, complimented Anderson on the debut and for providing an alternative service.

“Poket Mobile comes in a market that is growing, a market that is promising and a market that is very competitive. A news item I read recently reported that the MVNO market is recording growth of 4% per annum, while almost 2% of South Africa’s mobile subscribers are served by MVNOs. Elsewhere, I read that MNVO subscribers in South Africa are expected to double over the next five years.

“The entry of Poket Mobile in the market should enable more people, particularly your faithful clients, to enjoy the benefits of a modern, connected world and life through more choice and optimised affordable services that you offer and provide. Tonight we are honoured to celebrate the birth of a member of the Zororo Phumulani family. Any birth calls for celebration − congratulations and good wishes for the future. We congratulate you.”

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