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International calls cheaper, thanks to MTN Business

NAIROBI, Kenya Aug 4 – Competition in the corporate data space is set to heat up as MTN Business introduces low international calling rates.

This follows the launch of a digitised telephony solution dubbed MTN managed IP PBX services that allows business to make calls over an IP service.

Launching the product into the market, MTN Business Managing Director Tom Omariba said with the introduction of the service, customers can make international calls for as low as two US cents a minute and Sh3 a minute to fixed lines, giving it a competitive edge in the market.

“We believe telephony should go on the Internet for businesses because there is more you can do with. What we have given is competitive and because we are giving value for money that is missing in this market,” Mr Omariba said.

MTNs launch of the IP PBX possible in Kenya due to unified licensing communication regime that allows the provision of multiple services under a single license.

Mr Omariba said being a hosted service, it will enable businesses to significantly reduce on their capital expenditure and network costs ultimately increasing access to converged applications.

“Convergence brings data and voice IP and GSM together and is driven by increasingly mobile employees, the trend for staff to be always available and work pressures that demand instant answers,” Mr Omariba said.

With the move, MTN Business will be coming up against firms such as Access Kenya, Kenya Data Networks and Telkom Kenya that control a larger pie of the corporate market.

Safaricom has also been seen making inroads into the corporate space and has even been positioning itself to connect the county governments.

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These include services that ease processes such as registration of births and deaths, passport issuance, tax collection, security services and judicial system.

Mr Omariba said the firm would strive to remain at the forefront of innovation lowering costs and increasing efficiencies and continue playing a major role in the data space.

“You cannot be everything to all customers. We have to look at our strengths and choose which area we can serve. If you try and serve both markets, you will suffer that is the experience elsewhere,” he said.

MTN Business has plans to double its clients and grow its revenue by 15 to 20 percent this year and it will invest up to $4 million (Sh368.4 million) to attain that goal.

South African based MTN bought a 60 percent stake in UUNET Kenya, a corporate internet service provider, in 2008 and rebranded it to MTN Business Kenya in October 2010.


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