Orange Kenya CEO Mickael Ghossein (right) and product manager Christine Maina (left) address journalists during the launch of Orange Home Talk
Orange Kenya has launched a wireless fixed voice service dubbed Home Talk, targeting homes and small offices.
The service is available in Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu and Eldoret and will be provided via a “plug and play desk top phone” that will cost KSh4,500 (US$53) and enable customers to acquire numbers similar to a traditional landline.
For customers that prefer a postpaid service, Orange said it will be launching a fixed voice service by the end of the year.
Mickael Ghossein, Orange Kenya chief executive officer (CEO), said the company will allow customers already on the Telkom fixed line PSTN service to move with their numbers to Home Talk in the final phase of the roll out.
Orange has already upgraded more than 40 fixed network sites as the company continues to undertake its countrywide fixed network transformation project and will be eligible for the migration while the rest will be upgraded progressively.
“As part of our greater network transformation programme, our customers currently on our fixed wire line service will be able to migrate with their numbers to the wireless version of our fixed voice service,” says Ghossein.
Ghossein said it will allow seamless provision of service with the fixed telephony heavily reliant on copper, which have suffered massive cable cuts in the past months and is currently replacing its copper cables with fibre optic infrastructure to enhance reliability.
Home Talk customers will also be able to enjoy Orange mobile rates of KSh2 on-net and KSh3 off-net by purchasing monthly bundles at KSh750 (US$8.83) valid for 30 days.
This is opposed to a rate of KSh6 for on-net calls and KSh12 for off-net calls on its fixed landlines.
Another offer is the 10 hour free talk time to three preferred Orange mobile lines and five hours free talk time to all numbers on fixed and Orange wireless as well as services available on mobile lines.
Orange insists fixed telephony is the future of Kenya, gauging by other countries around the world despite the rapid growth of the mobile segment.
“Looking at developed economies as a gauge of the direction that telecommunications in developing countries will go, we see that fixed line telecommunication is the backbone of telecommunications, both for domestic and business purposes,” Ghossein said.
“Mobile telecommunications remains a very strong complementary solution.”