Gateway Communications last week announced the launch of a high-quality international calling service aimed at driving down the communications costs of Multinational Companies (MNC) operating in Africa. The service will be the first widespread alternative to incumbent telecommunications operators and will alleviate one of the major expenses for international firms operating on the continent.

MNC signing up to the new Gateway service will benefit from massive cost savings on international telephone calls and faxes by routing calls directly over Gateway’s international network as an alternative to the traditional telephone network. MNC will connect to the service by installing a Gateway ‘dialler’ or router onto their PBX (private branch exchange), providing automated call set and fast connection times on all international calls.

The service will allow MNC to operate more effectively in Africa by improving international service quality and support levels and by increasing international and African coverage by leveraging Gateway’s extensive interconnectivity with global telecommunications operators. Gateway will also allow MNC to monitor and control their costs more effectively through access to advanced on-line account management and billing platforms providing real-time account information.

Gateway’s corporate service will launch initially in South Africa, Kenya and select markets in West Africa towards the end of the year and will expand across the continent in 2004. The service is distributed both through Gateways direct sales team and by a network of agents, supported by Gateway’s global support and network management teams.