Telkom launches 8ta mobile network in South Africa

South African telecommunications company, Telkom, launched its new mobile brand 8ta on Thursday evening.

The launch officially revealed who was behind the high-profile Heita! advertising campaign, which has intrigued the nation for the past weeks.

According to Fin24, the network will offer prepaid services from Monday, while contract packages will be available from November. Corporate services are expected to be introduced within six months.

Managing executive of Telkom Mobile, Amith Maharaj, told guests that the network “will provide the platform for South Africans to communicate more. I’m not exaggerating when I say that this is the start of a new era in mobile phone communication in South Africa. Consumers will at last have a real choice.

Maharaj said that 8ta will launch with very competitive prepaid pricing to encourage voice and data usage.

The company said in a statement that “all prepaid customers will benefit from free talk time to any network every time they receive calls from a mobile phone – 1 free second of airtime for every 3 seconds of call received. Further, calls from 8ta to fixed line will cost 60% less than typical market rates for similar calls, and there will be a flat rate of R2.50 per minute to over 100 international destinations. Additionally, when customers send 5 SMS’s in a day, 8ta will give them 50 bonus SMS’s at no extra cost to use that same day.”

The network will also provide prepaid internet customers with an out-of-bundle rate of R1 per megabyte, while prepaid data bundles can be purchased for as low as 25c per megabyte.

8ta has constructed 800 base stations across the country, and plans to build a further 3200 base stations over time to improve coverage and connectivity. The services have been built on an end-to-end all-IP 2G and 3G network, which is upgradable to LTE (4G). A new call centre and new IT systems have also been implemented.