MTN Zambia and Kirusa have announced the launch of a new roaming service for customers travelling outside Zambia.
According to a statement by the companies, by using the service customers will benefit from "a drastic reduction in the cost of making and receiving calls whist outside Zambia" and "the ability to use their MTN Zambia number anywhere in the world, even where the operator has no roaming partners."
The app converts regular phone calls into Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) calls, allowing users to make or receive such calls within the app.
"This is useful when a mobile user is roaming, out of network coverage or on flight mode, but with an active data connection. This could be data from a local sim card, roaming data, or a Wi-Fi network," the statement continues.
Users are also offered the opportunity to purchase virtual numbers for the US, UK, Canada and France for US$1 per month "with additional countries to follow shortly," the companies have added.
"These numbers can be used alongside a person's existing mobile number(s) and activated instantly with no liaison with an operator required. Up to ten numbers can be linked to a person or business - with the numbers able to be used on any device. This eliminates the need to carry additional phones to use multiple phone numbers," the companies say.
MTN Zambia and Kirusa assert that ReachMe is differentiated from OTT apps like WhatsApp because it doesn't require both caller and recipient to have the app to connect. Person A dials Person B's regular mobile number – and doesn't know that the call is received in an app by Person B, the companies explain.
MTN Zambia claims to be the first operator in Africa to deploy Kirusa's InstaVoice ReachMe.
Seun Soladoye, Acting Chief Marketing Officer, MTN Zambia, said: "ReachMe is a refreshing innovation that solves a pain point for our frequent flyer audience. This app is an outcome of totally re-thinking roaming and, by clever integration with the cloud, drastically minimises our costs thereby allowing us to roll out attractive roaming packages."
Inderpal Singh Mumick, founder and CEO of Kirusa, said "I'm delighted that MTN Zambia believes in the potential of voice-over-data solutions, in the context of a world that is increasingly getting connected over cloud."