Telkom’s mobile launch: live blog
We are now live-blogging the mobile network launch by telecommunications group Telkom. Keep hitting “refresh” in your browser for the latest updates. And while you’re here, why not take a moment to subscribe to our daily e-newsletter or follow us on Twitter?
Okay, folks, I think that’s a wrap. Locnville looks like they’re on stage for the long haul, so we’re going to pack up this show and hit the road back to Johannesburg. We hope you’ve enjoyed this live blog. We will repeat it at the next big technology industry event. Let us know what you thought of it and how we might improve it next time. Heita!
A band called Locnville is now on stage. Duncan has just been told he’s old because he’s never heard of them.
Things seem to be wrapping up here.
We’ve just been joined here by Talk Radio 702’s Aki Anastasiou
Telkom is dishing out 8ta Sim cards to all members of the audience. Big applause from the crowd.
Telkom’s Stephen Blewitt has just taken the stage
Entire network is Internet Protocol-enabled, from the access network to the core
You can dial *188# to see how many free minutes you have accumulated
For every three minutes of calls you RECEIVE, Telkom will provide you with one minute of OUTGOING calls. If you receive a call of three seconds, you get one second to call out.
R1,50/minute for 8ta calls to any mobile network, as we mentioned earlier in the evening.
Calls from from 8ta mobile phones to fixed-lines is 65c/minute, as we posted earlier… Vodacom, MTN and Cell C will have to react to that by slashing their rates.
“If you buy a prepaid data bundle, you could pay as little as 25c/MB. No strings attached. SMS is 50c. If you send five SMSes in a day, 8ta will reward you with 50 free SMSes in that day, every day!”
Flat-rate tariffs day and night. Data rate: on prepaid data side, we’re starting with R1/MB, flat, out of bundle. Big cheers from the audience!
Launching prepaid voice and data services on Monday. Post-paid products will follow in November.
We hope you’re enjoying our coverage. If you have suggestions as to how we can improve the next live-blogging event, please e-mail us at info at techcentral dot co dot za.
8ta has four flagship stores and 20 more outlets around the country.
“Today we have built over 800 base stations.”
The skies have opened again over Lanseria airport. Pounding on the roof.
“We’re really going to knock your socks off in a short while.”
“South African consumers talk two to three times less than their counterparts elsewhere in the world.” — Amith Maharaj
And we’re back. Amith Maharaj, the managing executive at Telkom in charge of 8ta, has just taken the stage at the Telkom mobile launch.
Things are starting to drag out a bit here. The breaks between announcements are too long. The catering is terribly slow.
Very powerful branding! 8ta
Candice is snapping away. We’ll have branding pictures up in a few minutes
Suddenly the pink branding is explained. A giant pink giant has just come down over the stage with a smiley face on it
IT’S OFFICIAL! Telkom Mobile’s name is 8ta!!! We called it first here on TechCentral!
“081” has just flashed up the video walls!
We just bumped into former Internet Solutions CEO Angus MacRobert and MTN SA MD Karel Pienaar.
Moholi has stopped talking and we have cut away to a video…
“Heita says ‘let’s talk’. Heita says ‘please call me’.”
“Our aspirations are to disrupt the mobile industry! We have to change the rules of the game to favour consumers. Our target market is everyone.” — Pinky Moholi
Telkom SA MD Pinky Moholi has just taken to the stage.
Candice Jones has just gone off to take Siphiwe Nyanda’s photo. Musicians have cranked up the sound on stage.
Performers are back on stage. Looks like things are getting going again here…
Just bumped into Telkom’s regulatory affairs group executive Andrew Barendse. One of the most gentlemanly people you could hope to meet.
BDFM MD Mzi Malunga has just come over to our table, aka the “TechCentral live-blogging booth”.
Hedberg has left the stage. Starters are being served. Main presentation is probably 15-20 minutes away.
“Eight days ago we lost one of the key individuals in the company in a car accident. Sammy Gumbe provided quality, humility and humanity. His spirit is with all of us…”
“As our competitors move from mobile into fixed … if we didn’t have that mobile enabler it would be very difficult to compete.”
“The other opportunity is in the enterprise market … what is going to be key for Telkom is this enabler called mobility. If we didn’t move into mobile, we would be competitively disadvantaged…”
“The opportunity is not just coming as a pure-play wireless operator. It’s about a bundle. Here’s a laptop with a dongle, here’s your DSL line, and we bundle that.”
“We have an infrastructure at Telkom. This is not a greenfields [project].”
“This was one of the most comprehensive market research studies ever undertaken.”
“This is a defining moment for Telkom.”
“HEITA!” shouts Hedberg. “HEITA!” shouts the 900-strong audience.
“SANIBONANI!” shouts Jeffrey Hedberg. Hedberg is now speaking in Zulu.
Telkom acting CEO Jeffrey Hedberg (“the kid from Boston”) is taking the stage.
Siphiwe Nyanda, the communications minister, is in the house.
We’re working our sources here. Appears Telkom Mobile (aka 8ta) will be charging 25c/MB in-bundle and R1/MB out of bundle. Don’t take it as gospel yet, but that’s what a Telkom insider has told us.
Hello, sawubona, HEITA! Things have got underway. And Freshly Ground has just taken to the stage.
Everyone has been told to take their seats. The function is about to start.
More pricing details to follow shortly…
WE HAVE PRICING! Just heard from a Telkom insider: Telkom will charge 65c/minute for cellphone to landline calls and R1,50/minute for calls to all mobiles.
Just spotted: Karel Pienaar, MD of MTN SA, Telkom’s roaming partner
Just had a great chat with Andre Joubert from MWeb Business. He reckons Telkom is going to shake up the mobile market.
We’ve just heard that President Jacob Zuma is coming to tonight’s event
Just spotted in the crowd: former Telkom CEO Reuben September. Now that’s interesting…
We’ve been seated at table 77. It looks like Telkom is going to put on a helluva show.
We just bumped into John Holdsworth of ECN Telecoms.
William Stucke is haranguing us for writing “Icasa” instead of “ICASA”. LOL
The entrance hallway to the hangar at Lanseria airport, where Telkom is launching SA’s fourth mobile operator, 8ta!
Techno music is playing through the sound system. People milling around drinking orange juice and sparkling wine. Icasa councillor William Stucke has just come over to say “hi”.
Our friend Simon Dingle from simon.co.za has just joined us in what he calls the “TechCentral blogging booth”.
Candice Jones is taking photos. We’ll upload some soon. There’s no Cell C 3G coverage here yet, but the Vodacom signal seems okayish.
Big crowd here. About 900 people expected here tonight. Big queue at the reception desk. Registration is terribly slow. We can’t see this starting on time.
We were right. Telkom’s new mobile network is called 8ta.
Telkom closed down 0,4% today, at R37,40. It will be instructive to see what the share price does tomorrow.
And apparently — this is not confirmed — the name of the new business is 8ta! Watch this space for more…
Word on the street is that Telkom is going to drop a bit of a bombshell on the mobile industry tonight when it announces its pricing.
Only a few hours to go until the launch. What are you expecting Telkom to announce this evening? Use the comments box below and share your predictions and expectations.
We will be live-blogging the Telkom mobile launch at Lanseria airport on Thursday night. Check back then…