Econet lowers rates on Zim, SA calls

HARARE - Econet Wireless says it has linked up with, Econet Wireless South Africa, to provide the cheapest rates for calls from  the country  to Zimbabwe.

The service, dubbed “Call Home”, now allows Zimbabweans in South Africa to call home during the evenings for a low rate of R2,25 per minute with pure per second billing compared to standard rates from other operators in South Africa of R3,99 from Cell C, R4,89 from MTN and R3,90 from Vodacom.

Econet Wireless South Africa, is a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) in that it offers its services using one of the South African networks and does not build its own network.

This type of service was first popularised by Richard Branson’s Virgin group in the United Kingdom, and has become a very successful global concept.

Econet Wireless Group has MVNO operations in South Africa and the UK.

When Econet Wireless launched its MVNO in South Africa, it targeted specifically the needs of Zimbabwean and other African immigrants.

Many Zimbabweans took its Sim cards out of national pride.

Econet has been systematically developing products for them, which are unique.

One of the most popular products is an insurance product called “CarryMeHome” which covers the cost of repatriation to Zimbabwe in case of death in South Africa, for only R20 per month.

Econet Wireless South Africa is currently developing a South African version of the highly popular EcoCash so that its customers can send money home, quickly, cheaply and safely.

EcoCash, the country’s largest mobile money transfer, revealed  that it had transacted over $300 million since its inception last year.

Econet said EcoCash was now handling over $70 million monthly.

The company said the platform’s registered subscribers grew by 70 percent  to 1,7 million from a base of one million in February, making it the second fastest growing mobile money transfer in the region after Mpesa in Kenya.

In South Africa, where Vodacom launched a similar service at the same time as Econet, only 500 000 people have registered to use it, according to media reports. - Business Writer

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