Econet partners Ireland firm on VoIP

HARARE - Zimbabwe's leading mobile network operator Econet Wireless (Econet) has partnered with Ireland-headquartered firm, One Horizon Group (One Horizon), to launch proprietary VoIP technology in Africa through a license agreement.

The application allows roamers to make high-quality phone calls home for approximately the same amount as a local call and is fully integrated with Zimbabwe’s secure mobile payment wallet, EcoCash.

This is the first deployment in One Horizon’s initiative to deploy their technology throughout Africa with multiple carriers.

One Horizon chief executive Brian Collins said after successfully launching the company’s proprietary, low bandwidth, VoIP technology in the Philippines with Smart Communications, the leading technology firm was pleased to have established its presence in a new emerging market in Zimbabwe with its leading mobile network operator.

“Our white label application has been customised for the demand of Econet’s subscribers and fully integrated with EcoCash. It was very important to Econet that their subscribers who are travelling abroad could transfer money back home to their family seamlessly and without risk of transferring physical cash to top-up their mobile devices,” he said.

“Money is now transferred safely and securely, ensuring families can stay in contact for approximately the same rate as a local call. This feature gets the heart of how intimately involved we get with each carrier in each new market to ensure that their subscribers have all the features, benefits and flexibility they need,” Collins added.

Econet is part of a diversified telecommunications group headquartered in South Africa and servicing Africa, Europe, South America, East Asia and Australia.

In Zimbabwe, the diversified conglomerate boasts of over 9,2 million subscribers representing approximately 65 percent of the market.

One Horizon’s application with Econet is fully integrated with EcoCash, a secure mobile payment and transfer solution. Focused on person-to-person money transfers, the technology went live in 2011.

Within 18 months of its launch, 31 percent of Zimbabwe’s adult population registered for the service.

Today, EcoCash provides a savings account, international transfers, banking services, payroll services, and solutions for public transportation and retail. There are approximately 6 million EcoCash subscribers.

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