IS launches unified mobile broadband service in South Africa


Internet Solutions (IS) has launched a unified mobile broadband data bundle that integrates 3G, GPRS and HSPDA connectivity with IS Wi-Fi HotSpot access, enabling users to find the most cost effective and efficient mobile means of connecting to the internet.

The network agnostic IS solution offers mobility customers an integrated rand-based bundle that is managed through a single unified account.

“Whether IS customers roam via IS’ or partnered Wi-Fi networks, or utilise 3G/HSDPA via either the Vodacom or MTN network, all usage is depleted from a single data bundle” says Brett Steingo, Mobile Business Unit Manager at IS.

Steingo says that the optimal cost benefits of using the solution are realised when mobile broadband and Wi-Fi access is integrated.

“For IS users, per MB access through Wi-Fi HotSpots is half the cost of 3G access, and is available at major locations like airports, hotels and conference centres,” he says. “Users can also associate their mobile phones to their IS data bundle, which will significantly reduce the cost of accessing the internet via their handset.”

IS currently owns 80% of major South African HotSpot sites, with more than 500 national locations. When combined with the Wi-Fi partner roaming networks IS mobility customers will have access to over 90% of all the major HotSpots available in South Africa.

“In cases where connectivity is critical, a single user can carry both a MTN and Vodacom SIM card. Either SIM can be used to deplete data from a single bundle, so the user can use whichever network offers the best connection in their current location.” says Steingo.

Additional functionality includes online account management, detailed invoicing online, a single log-in and password to access the easy-to-use user interface and the ability to manage SIM cards online.

“A major benefit of online SIM management means that a SIM card can be deactivated within 90 seconds if lost, stolen or compromised, a process that would normally take 48 hours to do through the service provider,” says Steingo.

“We can also restrict network and internet access, allowing users to only access the company network through a VPN tunnel. This allows corporates to control internet usage on the bundle, while ensuring that their mobile workforce has access to business critical applications when they are out of the office.”

IS plans to further integrate this data bundle with fixed line DSL and provide access to international HotSpots, offering international internet access at reduced rates through the global IS Wi-Fi partner network.

“With these additional connectivity methods coming online users will have the ability to access the internet from anywhere, through any connection, at the lowest possible cost. However, this first iteration of IS’ unified data bundle already provides companies with better quality mobile broadband at a lower cost,” concludes Steingo.