According to a letter from Attila Vitai, managing director of Telkom, to employees sent this morning, the decision to phase out the 8ta brand and replace it with Telkom Mobile was made to further the company’s brand convergence efforts, following engagement with the Board and the Telkom executive committee (EXCO).
“You are also aware that convergence is a critical focus area of the Telkom strategy. As we continue to execute our strategy and pursue the convergence agenda, it is important to leverage off the strong Telkom brand equity and our unsurpassed network infrastructure, which includes the mobile network,” the letter, published on Gadget, reads.
“I am excited to announce that a decision has been taken that the 8ta brand will progressively be changed to Telkom Mobile.”
Vitai assures employees the process will be gradual, and not a sudden re-branding event.
Telkom confirmed the decision to phase out the 8ta brand to HumanIPO, adding the re-branding “will support the group-wide convergence strategy and drive greater alignment. This rebranding exercise will support a more effective business with stronger commercial prospects.
“Telkom’s leadership is confident that the mobile operation has strong prospects for the future. We have launched the most competitive prepaid rate in the market. This sets the tone for further product announcements planned over the next weeks.”
The operator has been struggling over the past year as South African consumers move away from fixed-line telephony in favour of mobile. Telkom’s mobile service has not yet achieved significant standing in the market given stiff competition by larger operators.
The operator saw a string of resignations towards the end of last year, including its chief executive officer Nombulelo Pinky Moholi, whose resignation becomes effective in April, and ex-chairman Lazarus Zim.
In November, Telkom revealed an astonishing first half profit drop of 80.6 per cent, prompting government engagement and the hiring of new executives to turn the company’s fate around.