Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
During a question and answer session, after announcing their results, The Econet Chief Executive Officer Mr Douglas Mboweni confirmed our fears, they will not be promoting the “popular VoIP” service they had launched at the beginning of this year.
To prove that Econet has buried the service, Mr Douglas Mboweni announced that they will not be pursuing the service as there are apps like whatsapp and viber already doing the same thing.
He said this when he was asked by TechZim`s Limbikani “what happened to the VoIP service?”
In Answering the question, the Econet representative said why do we need to re invent the wheel, there are other players already on the market like skype and viber offering the same service.
Earlier, he had also said, we have always been offering VoIP on our platform, its there already, and im sure he meant as a platform, but not as a service.
Ofcourse this was a backtracking excuse, should that point be true, then they would have seen the sense before launching their VoIP in the first place.
The truth is no mobile operator would be comfortable in launching VoIP service as an app in their own platform as this will obviously chew in their GSM network revenue, which is their major business focus and source of revenue.
VoIP services when they are network centred will simply mean that you can now just call direct from your device to any number in or outside network at connectivity rates, in plain English, you should be charged at the internet connection rate not the standard GSM call rates.
Ofcourse a very good example is Africom, its already doing so, outside a third party app in your phone, (most likely network hosted), where call in their network are ridiculously cheap as low as 6 cents and 12cents outside.
This is the reason why we should probably forget to dream that any of these players will run VoIP based calls in their network
Econet has also in the past killed any possible VoIP deal across their network