Mobile payphone boost for SMEs, by Itumeleng Mogaki

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

A GSM handset that street vendors can use as a public payphone could create a million jobs in Africa over a 24-month period, says its creator.

The payphone developed by Cape Town-based SharedPhone International targets informal business owners such as taxi owners and hairdressers, who can then make the service available to anyone who cannot afford a handset or airtime.

Described as a breakthrough technology in the GSM telecommunications sector, the payphone has been rolled out locally by MTN, Gemplus and Motorola, with several hundred units already in the market.

SharedPhone International MD Warren Steyn explains that SharedPhone operators can buy airtime from MTN, set minimum billing tariffs at a fraction of the standard price, cut calls when the customer’s money has run out, and return change to a customer whose call ends early.
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Source: ITWeb