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Telkom spells out 8ta’s fate

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Telkom has responded to a report in Gadget last week on ending the 8ta brand, confirming that “elements”” will be served by Telkom Mobile, but claiming that 8ta will be “”repositioned””.

Telkom has followed up its internal letter to employees regarding the end of the 8.ta brand (see letter here), with a public statement claiming that 8ta will not be discontinued.

“”Telkom has announced to its employees that elements of the market, which had been serviced and marketed to under the 8ta brand, will soon be served under the Telkom Mobile brand. 8ta will not be discontinued, but will be repositioned into specific market segments,”” it said in a statement on Saturday.

However, it its announcement to employees, it had made no mention of preserving the 8ta brand.

As in the letter to staff, it announced that the rebranding “”will support the group-wide convergence strategy and drive greater alignment””.

It added: “”This rebranding exercise will support a more effective business with stronger commercial prospects.

“”The Telkom brand is well established in South Africa. As the Company continues to execute its strategy and to pursue the convergence agenda, it is beneficial to leverage off the strong Telkom brand equity and the Company’s unsurpassed network infrastructure, which includes the mobile network.””

It appears, however, that the initial letter and negative media response to it was followed by an urgent re-think, in which Telkom sought ways to preserve 8ta as a name. The media statement explained:

“”The 8ta brand has been highly successful in specific segments and will not be discontinued. It has been particularly successful in the youth market. New propositions will be developed and launched under the 8ta brand details of which will communicated in due course.””

The likely outcome will be that 8ta will be sold as a specific series of bundles, packages or special offers under the Telkom Mobile brand, but will no longer operate as its own branded network. More announcements can be expected in the coming week, according to the statement:

“”Telkom’s leadership is confident that the mobile operation has strong prospects for the future. We have launched the most competitive prepaid rate in the market. This sets the tone for further product announcements planned over the next few weeks.””

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