8ta still critical to Telkom Mobile plans
8•ta would not be discontinued - it is simply being repositioned, says Telkom.
Plans for 8•ta were part of Telkom’s overall mission of seamlessly connecting people, says Mavuso Msimang, Managing Director of Consumer and Retail Services at 8•ta’s parent company, Telkom.
Speaking at the announcement of 8•ta’s five year partnership with the Premier Soccer League (PSL), which will see the mobile company become the official network partner for the league, Msimang said mobile was a key strategy in Telkom’s future plans.
The agreement covers all mobile voice and data products to be used by the PSL under the 8•ta’s “081” prefix and extensive branding and marketing activities. In particular, the agreement provides 8•ta with exclusivity in the implementation of additional mobile platforms, mobile payment offerings, fan community tools and other mobile applications on behalf of the PSL.
Msimang explained that convergence was the wave of the future and the mobile network was a critical building block to deliver this converged future.
“Going forward we will serve some parts of the market through the Telkom Mobile brand and some parts of the market through the 8•ta brand. Our offerings under each brand will be based on the way customers actually use voice and data rather than be limited by traditional marketing models. This decision was taken following a great deal of investigation and deliberation. Market dynamics formed part of the equation, as did the benefits of leveraging off the strong Telkom brand equity in the context of our convergence agenda,” says Msimang.
He emphasised that 8•ta would not be discontinued, pointing out that since the brand was launched in 2010, 8.ta had been successful, particularly in the youth market. Mavuso says the brand is simply being repositioned.
Mavuso pointed to today’s PSL announcement and other recent product innovations as evidence of the continued role that will be played by the 8•ta brand.