Telkom Mo­bile

Telkom has taken the wrap­ping off its new mo­bile brand. And, well, see for your­self...

Finweek English Edition - - TECHNOLOGY - Simon Din­gle

Telkom made a bold move when it launched 8ta into the South African mar­ket as a f ledgling c onsu mer mobi l e br a nd de­signed to stick it to the in­cum­bents of Vo­da­com and MTN. Now, less than three years later, 8ta is be­ing rel­e­gated to a spe­cific mar­ket seg­ment and last week Telkom ex­posed the brand that will re­place it, which is just plain old Telkom Mo­bile.

The new brand was de­signed by ad­ver­tis­ing agen­cies JWT and G2. You might be sur­prised to learn that when you see that it’s just the same old Telkom logo with the word ‘Mo­bile’ scrawled be­low it.

Twit­ter im­me­di­ately erupted with re­ac­tions to the re­veal.

“Just seen the new Telkom Mo­bile logo ... I thought it was a joke at first. It’s an em­bar­rass­ment,” said Alis­tair Fair­weather (@afair­weather).

“The new Telkom Mo­bile logo. Looks like some­one fired up MS Paint,” quipped Hil­ton Tar­rant (@hilton­tar­rant).

Some pos­i­tive sen­ti­ments emerged when Telkom an­nounced some of its new tar­iffs, how­ever, with In­ter­net bun­dles rang­ing from 750MB for R65 to 15GB for R905 – highly com­pet­i­tive for the South African mar­ket.

De­spite what you may think of the looks of the Telkom Mo­bile logo, its MD At­tila Vi­tai is sure about where the brand is po­si­tioned.

He told tech­nol­ogy news web­site TechCen­tral that, “8ta has been very suc­cess­ful in the seg­ments that it serves ... We have fo­cused our ac­tiv­i­ties into the youth mar­ket and pre­dom­i­nantly the low-us­ing sub­scribers. This is typ­i­cal of a new en­trant into a mar­ket where there is al­ready 100%-plus pen­e­tra­tion. You wouldn’t ex­pect us to come to the mar­ket and churn away high­est-value cus­tomers from our ri­vals.”

Vi­tai ex­plained, “We think that this is a much fresher, much more dy­namic ver­sion of the old Telkom group logo ... With the pas­sage of time, ev­ery­one will fit in with our new logo. We wanted the con­sumer and busi­ness di­vi­sions to be happy with the gen­eral di­rec­tion this brand­ing is tak­ing. We will all con­verge on this [new] logo over the pas­sage of time.”

In a state­ment later re­leased, Manelisa Mavuso, Telkom’s MD of con­sumer and re­tail ser­vices added, “Telkom Mo­bile is an es­sen­tial com­po­nent of Telkom’s group-wide con­ver­gence strat­egy.”

He con­tin­ued: “When we say that Telkom’s mis­sion is to seam­lessly con­nect peo­ple to a bet­ter world, the key prac­ti­cal im­pli­ca­tion is that we are work­ing for a con­verged fu­ture where there is less fo­cus on par­tic­u­lar tech­nol­ogy and whether it is fixed or mo­bile. Our strat­egy fo­cuses on help­ing con­sumers, busi­ness and other sec­tors of so­ci­ety stay con­nected in or­der to achieve great things and live bet­ter lives.”

“For us the launch of Telkom Mo­bile is a clear mile­stone in the im­ple­men­ta­tion of our plans to drive greater rev­enue and to meet busi­ness plan tar­gets as a con­verged en­tity.”

At the end of the day con­sumers will de­cide whether Telkom Mo­bile has what it takes – and that will largely come down to price and qual­ity of ser­vice, some­thing Telkom’s com­peti­tors are drop­ping the ball on, de­spite their f lashy brand­ing.

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