Neotel Should Invest in VoIP Apps for Smarphones


Up-and-coming telecoms operator, and opposition to the monopolising Telkom in South Africa, Neotel, should invest in VoIP applications for smartphones such as the iPhone, BlackBerry, and myriad Android devices.

This notion comes as South Africa enters the free-internet age with Mweb, a popular ISP, introduced the first-ever uncapped internet package to South Africans last month.

The smartphone market in South Africa has taken-off considerably, and more South Africans are starting to communicate using newer technologies on BlackBerrys, iPhones and Android-based smartphones.

If Neotel, who has been experiencing a not-so-satisfactory run after launching not so long ago, is clever enough, they would choose to leverage this new phenomenon, and thus connect more South Africans in a more cost-efficient way.

Here's how I'd envision them to do this VoIP product: the Neotel VoIP app would be available from the various App Stores relevant to each mobile phone (e.g. Android Marketplace, Apple App Store, etc.). Users could then download the app for free (or Neotel could charge them, but this would be unwise, given that many other VoIP apps, like Skype, are free).

Within the Neotel Mobile app, users would have to enter their unique account and password. Thereafter, calls made and received within the app would be credited from their Neotel account. This VoIP app would be far better than having to carry around those bulky Neotel VoIP phones.

Furthermore, this would eliminate the need for users to own an additional physical phone (those bulky Neotel VoIP phones), and instead, the functionality of those phones would be replicated within the VoIP app for smartphones.

Now, I'm not saying that Neotel should just abandon their current business strategy in favour of going all-digital with a single software solution (that'd be suicide for them). This VoIP app idea would be a way for them to supplement their service, and provide something innovative to South Africans.

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