In Africa, the barrier for least cost routing has always been one of, well, cost. Since the least cost routing providers on the continent have charged high monthly subscription rates for the service, most small businesses have been unable to take advantage of the potential cost savings. But now, one South African provider is hoping to change that by making least cost routing available to all.
Cell C is the third largest cellular provider in South Africa, and the company is ready to debut its least cost routing solution, AnyNet. AnyNet is designed to reduce the cost of telecommunications for businesses and lowering the entry barrier for small businesses who wish to take advantage of this cost-saving technology.
In South Africa, three of the four largest least cost routing providers utilize voice over IP (VoIP) strategies to enable savings. On the other hand, Huge Telecom is sticking with a fixed cellular routing model.
Speaking on behalf of Huge Telecom, CEO James Herbst said, “We have consistently maintained that market forces will drive down wholesale cellular prices to a point where they are on a par with or better than wholesale fixed-line prices. Quite simply, in Africa, cellular technology is the hero of the present and the way of the future.”
Herbst feels that VoIP is the wrong avenue to pursue when dealing with least cost routing in South Africa. When asked if his company’s position is threatened after the announcement of Cell C’s offering, Herbst added, “Huge Telecom is in an incredibly strong position with Cell C and other mobile operators, because, unlike the VoIP proponents, Huge Telecom deliberately chose not to build its own network to try and compete with the incumbent telecom operators.”
Only time will tell how things shake out in the South African market and, more interestingly, what this might foretell for the least cost routing market in the United States.
Edited by Jamie Epstein