Roke Telkom might move into voice and also offer triple play services in Uganda


In a recent interview between Roke Telkom’s Chief Operating Officer, James Byaruhanga and The Independent, he hinted about the ISP entering the voice segment of the telecom’s space by becoming a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) through leasing excess bandwidth from traditional players.These we suppose these might include MTN and the ilk. He also expounded on Roke Telkom’s future offering triple play services that include data,voice and TV in Uganda

What is a MVNO?

As my Editor-In-Chief explained before, MVNO are mobile operators that not necessarily own wireless spectrum from the regulator, for this case UCC but instead lease capacity from traditional networks like MTN, Airtel, UTL among others. K2 is a good example of a true MVNO.

This means Roke telkom might start offering voice services in the future on top of their data services that they distribute through WiFi and Fiber to the premise (FTTP). This will make it a direct competitor to whoever will lease it their excess capacity, who are most likely to be smaller players in the telecom’s space.

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Why? The bigger players like MTN and Airtel are already grappling with congested networks owing to their large customer base

Roke telkom might be entering the voice space to have a competitive advantage in this ever competitive telecom space, offering more value to their customers than just internet thus the deviation from its traditional ISP roots.

Most telecoms across the world are evolving to overcome fragmentation in the space by offering triple play service so as to retain customers, who often find themselves having different service providers for voice, data and TV. Merging the three together seems a good value proposition.

Let us now talk about triple play services

Besides the conventional data and the “soon to be added “ voice, James also hints at plans of Roke Telkom introducing TV to its FTTP network. The convergence of the three; Voice, data and telephony delivered over a single broadband pipe is what we term as Triple Play services.

Roke’s COO also said talks are already in place with Startimes and DSTV to see this through but the question remains if these two PayTV players will sell Roke Telkom TV content branded under Roke’s banner or they will bundle their TV channels into Roke Telkom’s yet to be announced Triple play service.

However with last mile problems still at play, wireless connections standout for this type of arrangement and this might explain as to why Roke Telkom has shown interest in becoming a MVNO.