Cointel Shines in M-Commerce

CAPE TOWN — Cointel, the local telecommunications services company, has recently been awarded a platinum ranking by the National Top 300 Companies, B2B investment guide initiated by Minister of Trade and Industry, Alec Erwin.

Its new platinum ranking – the highest possible, beating out gold and silver — places Cointel in the company of mining giant Anglo American and diamond titan De Beers. Both KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers help determine entrants in the National Top 300 publication. Criteria include high product quality, innovative management and revenue exceeding R50 million a month something Cointel has no problems with.

Cointel currently bills R2 million a day, with monthly turnover predicted to exceed R100 million in the next 12 months. Its annual turnover growth is currently 300% per annum. It makes all this money from telecommunications.

To begin with, they’re the exclusive value added service provider for Vodacom, helping the cellular company provide services such as pay lines, etc. Their key product is a technology called Autocharge.

Autocharge, aimed at the prepaid cellular market, allows cellphone owners to dial in and automatically recharge their phones. There is a once off registration process, whereby a credit card number is associated with a phone number, and thereafter the process is reduced to phoning in and selecting an amount. Naturally, everything is automated.

Apart from Audiotext services (e.g. the Horoscope line, top 10 Restaurant guide), Cointel also appears to be moving into mobile information market. They’ve recently added an SMS weather reporting service to their offering, for 80 cents an SMS.

Ahmed Ayob, MD of Cointel, says “Our company’s success has been achieved by developing high-tech systems that have simple user-interfaces, so that anyone can use them from any cellphone.”

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