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VoIP in South Africa: A Local Perspective On the Adoption Perceptions

 
July 15, 2011


By David Sims, TMCnet Contributing Editor
 

A recent article in WebAfrica noted that South Africa is keeping pace with international VoIP trends – “within our obvious bandwidth limitations.”

Written by Karl Reed, Chief Marketing and Solutions Officer at Elingo, he notes that the recent takeover of Skype (News - Alert) by Microsoft “makes for good headlines, but the transaction is a bit of a red herring when one is analyzing global VoIP and IP telephony trends.”

As Reed sees it, Microsoft’s (News - Alert) move isn’t such a big deal as a VoIP bellwether, but more of a comment on how Microsoft is shoring up market share in business communications. Closer to home, Reed says currently there are “two distinctly different scenarios” when it comes to VoIP in the South African corporate environment.

First, companies trying to “shift existing infrastructure from non-VoIP to VoIP are facing a lengthy and complex process.” And in contrast, of course, new ICT systems and / or green field projects have seen VoIP uptake be “immediate and dramatic.”

Besides all the usual advantages of VoIP in terms of cost and ease of installation, and funkier phones with more features and capabilities, considerations which apply anywhere in the world and certainly aren’t unique to South Africa, Reed says education is “a crucial element” in the South African VoIP sector, since “many decision makers still perceive VoIP to require intense effort in terms of administration and organizational governance,” when in fact they’re cheap to run, maintain and control.


And speaking of easy, low cost VoIP, TMC (News - Alert) had the news recently that REVE Systems announced the launch of iTel Switch Plus 2.0, which is the most advanced and complete retail VoIP platform. Based on REVE’s proprietary technology, iTel Switch Plus 2.0 is a hosted softswitch with an improved security feature, Never Go Negative feature, ‘N’ level of resellers creation feature, single PIN for all call origination devices feature and another one that allows it to run behind NAT or on private IP.

The offering is described by company officials as, “a secured and versatile softswitch platform with integrated billing,” which has been designed to “suit VoIP service providers with retail and wholesale operations, irrespective of their scale of business.”

iTel Switch Plus 2.0 is completely hack-proof as it is backed by dual levels of protection. The primary protection is basically password based authentication and the secondary is an IP based authentication. Apart from offering high level security, iTel Switch Plus also offers features such as “Never Go Negative”, “Mobile Top-Up” and “Unlimited Level Reseller Creation.”


David Sims is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of David’s articles, please visit his columnist page. He also blogs for TMCnet here.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi

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