By Toneo Tonderai Rutsito
We previously gave you our own understanding on the Current noise maker, Guroo, the app that is set to revolutionize the way we communicate, we managed to catch up with Africom CEO Rudo Mudavanhu and the head of Marketing Mr Prosper Mutswiri for more details
Speaking to the Chief Executive Officer of Africom, Mrs Rudo Mudavanhu, she said “after close to 18months of working on the product, we are glad to finally announce that we are now offering a flagship product not for just the Zimbabwean market but world over, this is real and affordable VoIP service.”
By using Guroo, subscribers will officially now be charged only 6cents per minute for every call they make to Guroo numbers. For any call outside Guroo , the subscriber will still be charged only 12 cents to cater for the terminating charges, which is still way too low compared to the current market charges of 23cents.
In its simplest term, VoIP is a technology that allows anyone to make voice calls while using the internet, traditional applications like Skype have been leading the VoIP world but these are only limited to Skype –Skype calls unless you want pay an extra fee to call mobile or landlines.
While real broadband speeds are now attainable in Zimbabwe since the inception of fibre optics, all the current mobile operators have ignored calls to launch VoIP based application to enable their subcribers to benefit from the affordable communication platform.
Although enterprises like Econet Wireless Zimbabwe in the past hogged the limelight over the launch of their VoIP services, the move immediately came to a naught as the project completely failed to fly for reasons well known by all technology experts-VoIP destroys mobile operators` income.
The Africom`s head of Marketing Mr Prosper Mutswiri said “ Guroo is not coming on board as a competitor to these players, we are only complementing what the other players are already doing, remember Guroo still works well even if you are using your Econet, Telecel or Netone”
To try and simplify the concept, Guroo is good as Skype, but this time it’s much lighter, cheaper and allows you to call any other number just like you are using your standard smart phone.
Unlike the popular packages like Skype and Whatsapp, Guroo can still make calls to subscribers outside its network, whether the person is registered or not. It comes with its own dialler to call even landlines. This technology makes it a first in Zimbabwe and Africa
“We call this shattered borders, this is the appropriate borderless technology for this generation, which is set to make communication affordable to almost everyone who can afford a simple smart phone, all one needs is to load up the application for Android, Apple or Windows platform”, added the Africom Chief Executive Officer.
“We want the passion and the adrenalin to be driven from Africa, this will then mean that we are also creating massive local content for Africa , there is no need for us to be pushing traffic on the international platforms like Skype and by joining Guroo you are also increasing the economic growth of Africa, this is why we call it Africa First” added Mrs Mudavanhu
Another interesting aspect of this technology is that there is no need to change your current cell phone number, Mr Mutswiri said “there is no need to buy any extra sim-card, you are independent of any network, so long as you simply register, you are automatically given a Guroo number then you are ready to call via the application”
This application then simply means it cuts across any network deficiency problems, whether you are in Harare CBD, Mutare or rural areas, so long as one is connected to the internet via whichever medium then one can still call any cell phone number or landline via Guroo.
Another beauty on Guroo is the roaming ability, for anyone leaving Zimbabwe or outside, you can still be contacted at local call rates of as low as 6cents so long as you have your device connected online, one can still call at these amazing rates without the fear of incurring exorbitant charges emanating from international roaming charges.
Of course with such a precedent already set by Africom, we shall be closely watching the market which previously had closed the lid on VoIP to see how it will react.
Guroo is set to completely shake up the market as the market has been previously driven by the versatile marketing strategies, which previously saw Telecel Zimbabwe `s subscriber base shoot due to their effective marketing promos.
Even though Guroo is set to attract millions of subscibers to its platform, this will not directly show a shift of subscribers as one needs not to change networks to use Guroo, this however may see GSM mobile operators face a sharp decline in voice calls as the app becomes favourable.
The telecoms industry has been sour for all mobile phone operators as they have ailing from the effects of whatsapp another IP based product which is seriously chewing in on the revenue mainstream.
Although Africom is pioneering the Guroo application in Zimbabwe, it is only the official master reseller of the African Initiative which has also been launched in South Africa. The application can run on any network platform and Africom runs the technicalities behind communicating over the application.
here is the Video clip