Nairobi, Kenya, Oct 16 – Integrated telecommunications services provider, Orange, has launched Home Talk, a wireless fixed voice service targeted at households and Small Office Home Office (SoHo) customers.
The pre-paid service, which will be provided via a plug and play desktop phone at a one-time device cost of Sh4,500 (exclusive of 16pc VAT), will also allow the user to enjoy high voice quality using a phone number similar to traditional landline numbers.
The service will be initially available for new fixed lines in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret. Over and above HomeTalk, Orange will continue to launch additional fixed voice offers before the end of the year for those customers that prefer a post-paid service.
Company CEO Mickael Ghossein also announced that Orange customers currently on its Telkom Fixed line PSTN service may move with their current landline numbers to this new service, in the final phase of the Home talk roll out.
The company is currently undertaking a countrywide fixed network transformation project that will result in an overall upgrade to the network. More than 40 fixed network sites have been upgraded already and will be eligible for the migration, while the remaining sites continue to be upgraded progressively.
“As part of our greater network transformation programme, our customers currently on our fixed wire line service will be able to migrate with their numbers to the wireless version of our fixed voice service,” says Ghossein, adding that the wireless solution will also allow Orange customers enjoy uninterrupted service since the service will not be at the risk of cable cuts.
Customers on Home talk will purchase monthly bundles, with 30 day validity periods, at only Sh750 per month. This offering will enable them enjoy Orange mobile rates: Sh2 for on-net calls, Sh3 off-net calls as opposed to the Sh6 for on-net calls and Sh12 for off-net calls on the Telkom fixed landlines.
Moreover, the Home talk customer will get ten hours of free talk time to three preferred Orange mobile numbers and five hours of free talk time to all numbers on Telkom Fixed and Orange Wireless. Additional services traditionally available on mobile lines such as voice mail, missed call alert, airtime transfer etc will also be available on Home talk.
“We are constantly tailoring our products and solutions with the customer in mind and aim to deliver more value, flexibility and satisfaction to our existing customers as well as present a sound and exciting proposition that will attract new customers,” adds Ghossein.
Despite the growth of mobile telecommunications cannibalising the fixed line market, Ghossein says that the fixed line solution has a future in Kenya.
“Looking at developed economies as a gauge of the direction that telecommunications in developing countries will go, we see that fixed line telecommunication is the backbone of telecommunications, both for domestic and business purposes. Mobile telecommunications remains a very strong complimentary solution,” says Ghossein.
Orange embarked on a countrywide transformation programme, replacing its copper cables with fibre optic infrastructure in order to enhance network reliability in the face of rising cable cuts and vandalism.
Overall, the transformation programme is aimed at enabling the company build on the best practices and benefits from the global expertise of its parent affiliate’s enterprise function, Orange Business Services, bringing a wealth of innovative products and solutions to the country.