Ngonidzashe Chiutsi Business Correspondent
FIXED Telecommunication companies are still relevant for the development of the economy in spite of the growing trend where individuals and companies are now using mobile telephones for communication, an expert has said.TelOne technical director Engineer Lawrence Nkala said fixed telephone worldwide would not die soon as there were a number of value additions to the traditional lines.
“There have been quite a number of value additions that we have done to the traditional land line. In the old days you would only receive voice and nothing else but on that fixed line you can do conference calling and even calling forward as a value added service,” said Eng Nkala last week in Bulawayo.
He said the fixed line could now also offer a plethora of services relevant to the communication needs of people.
“We have seen clients who had abandoned the lines coming back to us because of the value addition that we have done in the form broadband access services. On that basic line we have also brought WiFi and data services,” said the official.
TelOne sales and marketing director Mr Joseph Machiva said mobile broadband was not complete with just wireless infrastructure.
“Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) and Internet Service Providers (ISPs) also rely on the fixed network to provide backhaul bandwidth. Mobile operators boost their network reach and capacity, but wireless technology will not bring the same performance at the same cost as fixed networks — especially with the latter on fibre,” said Mr Machiva.
“Operators will want their customers’ devices to be always connected to the best available network for each location — so mobile devices will use fixed infrastructure, through WiFi and Femtocells.”
He called for convergence between fixed and mobile operators to offer best and quality services.
“Fixed Mobile Convergence is a transition point in the telecommunications industry that will finally remove the distinctions between fixed and mobile networks, providing a superior experience to customers by creating seamless services using a combination of fixed broadband and local access wireless technologies to meet their needs in homes and offices,” he said.
“‘Service providers must explore how to move beyond traditional boundaries and ensure all facets of a subscriber’s service needs and experience are being met,” said Mr Machiva.
He said operators, who do not embrace convergence risked, reducing the value of their network.