By Joshua Masinde
7th phone firm promises cheaper calls
Ugandans have a reason to smile. They have a seventh telecommunications operator to choose from. Aptly called Smile, the new company which launched operations last week promises cheaper call rates.
Smile CEO, Irene Charnley said its target is the segment of people who are underserved by costly communication facilities.
“Some people have to wait up to late in the evening to get that promotion but our customers won’t have to wait,”Charnley added.
In a major innovation, Smile customers will not need to have a phone or a sim card to communicate.
Instead, Charnley explained, Smile customers using their telephone number or Smile ID, together with a secret PIN code could log to any Smile phone run by Smile Agents.
“Once logged in, customers can make low cost calls and have access to a range of unique Smile features which traditional payphone and mobile operators do not offer,” he said.
Smile offers free phone number and a voice mailbox, free message retrieval from any Smile phone, a contact list that is accessible from any Smile phone, a current airtime balance that is always visible as well as voucher less airtime top ups and transfers.
Smile’s Chief Financial Officer Sharon Venessa Naidoo said after the US$ 30million spent on commencement of its operations in Kampala, the company plans to invest more in a countrywide roll out within the next three years.
Uganda is Smile’s first operation. It plans to go into Tanzania, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa.