be MOBILE nears 300,000 customer mark

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Mobile phone communication service provider, be MOBILE, says after shaking off a slowdown caused by the SIM card registration exercise, its customer base has bounced back to a growing trend and is now inching towards 300, 000.

Speaking to Mmegi on the sidelines of the launch of its latest offering, BTC Group General Manager (commercial service), said the parastatal began to experience a declining rate of growth in its customer base late last year.Anthony Masunga said the decline was caused by SIM card registration demanded by the Botswana Telecommunications Authority (BTA).

BTC was launching Mobile Office Manager (MOM), its latest product, in Gaborone yesterday.

"But we have recovered now and our customers have grown to just under 300, 000 since the beginning of the year from 200, 000 in October last year," said Masunga, who is the former General Manager of  be MOBILE.

In a process marred by operational hiccups that resulted in deadline postponements and some clients being cut off, BTA introduced mandatory SIM card registration in a bid to boost national security and help fight phone-related crime last year.

BTC formed be MOBILE to break into the highly competitive mobile phone industry two years ago.

By means of innovative products and promotions since then, the company has wrestled customers from the two established operators, Mascom and Orange.

MOM is a product that tries to offer cheaper fixed international communications within organisations. Under the product, companies pay only a fixed rate for the number of connected people in their network.

The number of people in the network and subsequently the band within which they fall will determine the amount. Said BTC Public Relations Manager, Golekanyi Molapisi:

"With allowances for companies with a minimum staff complement of five to a maximum of 400, staff can call each other without affecting the fixed monthly bill.

"The service will be available in two options: Business Live, which offers free calling between staff during working hours; and Business Critical, which offers free calls 24 hours a day. This service allows our clients to know exactly how much their monthly telephone subscription is and therefore allows them the convenience of planning ahead for their resources.

"Botswana is ready for this product, which will cater to the needs of SMMEs as well as the larger companies. We are inviting them all to come on board and be a part of this revolutionary product.

"The different bands in each option will ensure that the company with fewer connections will pay less, while a company with a lot of staff will pay slightly more.

This, we believe, is real value for money. We are making the lives of our customers that much easier."The latest be MOBILE offering will be launched in Francistown on October 20 and in Maun on October 27.

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