Cameroonians will soon have a new voice service offering inexpensive and high quality international calls and texts, thanks to pioneering work undertaken by World Telecom Labs (WTL) on behalf of iPLANS.
Established in 2006, iPLANS has established itself as one of Cameroon’s most reliable providers of IT software, hardware and hosting solutions.
Earlier this year iPLANS became the first new operator to be granted a voice license as part of the Government’s ‘Cameroon Digital 2020’ programme, which is aimed at improving connectivity across the country.
Cameroon has a population of 24.5 million and, according to the Budde research company, in 2016 penetration levels stood at 5.3% for fixed-line telephony, 18% for Internet users and 81% for Mobile (SIM) population.
The market is dominated by MTN Cameroon, Orange Cameroon and Nextell Cameroon, which is majority-owned by Viettel.
iPLANS decided to focus initially on making it easier and cheaper for people living, working and visiting Cameroon to make and send calls and texts to other countries, both within and outside Africa.
iPLANS developed perfectTalk, an OTT app and also set up numbers through which the VoIP service can be accessed.
As well as using the free app, people can pay for calls through the various mobile money services in the country, and pre-paid cards.
After a thorough search across the world for the best VoIP vendor, iPLANS chose WTL to help built its VoIP network.
As well as using WTL’s multi-award winning VoIP switches, iPLANS has customised WTL’s web-based e-commerce portal - “Pay & Call” – for automated customer creation and customer self-care.
This provides iPlan’s customers with a straightforward way to set up their accounts and manage payments online.
Since its launch, perfectTalk has been extremely well-received. In the near future, the service will also be available to the Cameroonian diaspora, particularly those in the UK, Belgium and US
Joseph Kamgue, CEO of iPLANS said “I firmly believe that we should develop innovative solutions to help our country grow here in Cameroon. This is the best way to build a culture of creation, education and skills. However, sometimes we need help and this is where WTL comes in.
"QoS and user experience is critical to the success of our voice service and we chose WTL because of its expertise and experience in supporting large volumes of calls.”
Leigh Smith, MD of WTL, said “VoIP is now going mainstream in Africa with innovative companies like iPLANS leading the way. iPLANS knows its customers and has customised its offering for them. This is a strategy which is proving to be very successful with users already choosing iPLANS over the OTT giants such as WhatsApp and WeChat.”