Roaming, both in South Africa and around the world, can be a very costly experience. Recent media reports have shown the exorbitant costs of international roaming using 3G, citing bills around the R100 000 mark for international data roaming.
These reports stated that the mobile operators were at the mercy of international operators, who determine the roaming rates that are ultimately charged.
Internet Solutions has signed inbound interconnect agreements with a variety of international carriers, giving the ISP access to over 300 000 hotspots globally. ‚We currently have inbound interconnect agreements with the top four carriers, giving customers flexibility and ease of connection using the same account as they do in their own countries,‚ says Justin Spratt, General Manager of VoIS at Internet Solutions. Currently IS has access to the largest amount of hotspots through these relationships.
‚Our outbound interconnect agreements again allow us access to over 200 000 hotspots across the globe, allowing South African citizens travelling overseas access to these Wi-Fi hotspots,‚ he says. ‚No credit card transactions are required to connect to these hotspots as it is run directly through the client’s AlwaysOn hotspot account.‚
Eliminating the need to connect to 3G networks while travelling overseas will go a long way in bringing down the cost of connectivity for South Africans abroad. ‚Connecting to 3G networks is and will remain very expensive due to a number of factors and ultimately connecting via Wi-Fi is a more practical solution,‚ says Spratt. ‚There has been tremendous growth in Wi-Fi hotspots across in South Africa, across Europe and probably the world and this is allowing the end-user a lot more flexibility, cost-effective connections as well as the security of managing these connections through their existing accounts,‚ he concludes.