Vodacom places South Africa’s first VoWiFi call

20 Aug 2015

Vodacom South Africa has revealed that it made the country’s first commercial voice-over-Wi-Fi (VoWiFi) call at the company’s Midrand office in June 2015, AllAfrica reports. Vodacom disclosed that by effectively integrating Wi-Fi into its network as another voice carrier, its subscribers will experience seamless voice handover regardless of the connection (2G, 3G, 4G and Wi-Fi). The company was cited as saying that the service is currently live across its whole network, with calls made over the Wi-Fi network to be billed using existing minutes; no data costs will be incurred when using VoWiFi, the company said. Going forward, Vodacom said that VoWiFi will also offer a solution for remote sites that have Wi-Fi coverage.

In separate but related news, the city of Tshwane has launched a voice-over-internet protocol (VoIP) service over its free Wi-Fi network, which was built by the ZAR150 million (USD14.14 million) Wi-Fi rollout project implemented in partnership with non-profit movement Isizwe, TechCentral reports. Users could place calls to one another for free via the Tshwane Voice mobile application; users not in a free hotspot zone could also use the service, with calls estimated to cost ZAR0.10 per minute. The Tshwane Wi-Fi network has 700 live sites and is currently covering 95% of the city.

South Africa, Vodacom South Africa