NETONE has literally resurrected the old callbox, a public payphone system with their own network-based system they have called the Chatter Box.
NetOne marketing director Memory Ndoro said the chatter box uses a NetOne SIM card and all one need to do is to insert your card in the machine and then follow instructions on the screen.
The Chatter Box works exactly like the cellphone except that it is wired to the fixed position.
All the normal functionality can be accessed like making and receiving phone calls, sending or receiving phone calls, retrieving voice mails , airtym top-up or even requesting call backs.
It boggles one’s mind why NetOne would want introduce such a service.
By looking at its face value, it will most likely be a popular service for those who do not actually own any handsets, likely to grow very popular in rural areas or growth points as a smart way to cut costs for subscribers.
Besides this group of people, it may come in handy during that time when probably you have just run out of battery power and you really need to send that SOS to connect or locate someone urgently.
While in some rare cases, this will come in handy in towns for those who do not have the handset at all.
In that case, NetOne may need to push lots of these gadgets around town, residential areas and shopping centres in neighbourhoods.
Probably with the current unreliable electricity supply, the phones may be very relevant.
Currently, the Chatter Boxes are available at the NetOne Kopje Plaza head office and Mbare Post Office, targeting all their One World shops, ZimPost Offices, growth points, boarding schools, hospitals and clinics.
However, the move would have been a major hit if only it was introduced some eight years ago when the then Postal and Telecommunication Company, (PTC) decided to stop the call box as most Zimbabweans struggled to find the replacement due to inhibiting mobile handset costs.
NetOne has announced that they have slashed their tariffs to 14 cents per minute across all networks, being their first ever move to aggressive campaign outside their network boundaries.
Famed for their dollar per day promotion, NetOne has managed to retain their subscribers and attracted some to crossover, pushing their subscriber base to a current new of 2,7 million.
Ndoroalso said said that they had introduced a promotion for the next three months that will see their subscribers calling across network at only 14 cents.
“This is our way to appreciate our subscribers for their unwavering support. We have introduced a new tariff for the promotion which is set to last for the next three months. We understand we have not been offering much across networks and this is just our way to appreciate our subscribers from the 23 cents to 14 cents per minute” Ndoro said.
Besides the across network benefits, NetOne is also continuing with their intra-call benefits for their subscribers and the promotional bundle services.
“We are already expanding service coverage for our clients and are currently installing new base stations for wider national coverage” she added.
NetOne’s across-all-network tariff, however, faces heavy competition from the Telecel which is already offering an average of 13 cents on the Telecel Go and 10 minutes for a dollar.
Econet was also offering almost the same before they aborted the promotion promptly.
The 14 cents per minute rates also apply to their public phones, the Chatter Box, as they aim towards bringing convenience to their subscribers.
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