The part state-owned South African network operator, Telkom, has performed a confusing backtrack on its plans to rebrand its mobile arm, 8ta.
HumanIPO reported on the rebranding of 8ta to Telkom Mobile on Friday last week, after receiving a statement from the operator.
This followed reports of a leaked letter from Telkom’s managing director Attila Vitai.
The company’s latest statement, released on Saturday said: “Telkom has announced to its employees that elements of the market, which had been serviced and marketed under the 8ta brand, will soon be served under the Telkom Mobile brand.
“8ta will not be discontinued, but will be repositioned into specific market segments.”
Telkom believes this move will support their “group-wide convergence strategy” as well as “drive greater alignment”.
Telkom said the repositioning move will “support a more effective business with stronger commercial prospects.”
Since the Telkom brand is well known and established in South Africa, the telecommunications giant believes it is beneficial to “leverage off” the established Telkom brand equity as well as its “unsurpassed” network infrastructure, which is inclusive of the mobile network while the company works on its strategy and pursues its convergence plan.
“The 8ta brand has been highly successful in specific segments and will not be discontinued. It has been particularly successful in the youth market,” said Telkom, despite a financial report released this year indicating 8ta has failed to make a profit since its launch in 2010.
Telkom added: “New propositions will be developed and launched under the 8ta brand details of which will be communicated in due course.”
Furthermore, the leadership at Telkom believes their mobile operation has “strong prospects for the future”, despite previously reporting the company had recorded a ZAR753 million (US$82.8 million) loss during the course of the six months leading up to September 2012.
Telkom also believes it has launched the country’s most competitive prepaid rate.
They added: “This sets the tone for further product announcements planned over the next few weeks.”