“Euphoria Telecom has announced that it has partnered with South African Broadband Education Networks (SABEN) to offer affordable VoIP to South African Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges and students.”
The SABEN project is a collaboration between TENET and SANReN, its purpose is to solve bandwidth poverty at South Africa’s TVET colleges, by bring high-speed internet to these colleges at affordable costs. The majority of these colleges are located in undeserved markets, both in urban and rural areas across South Africa where all forms of connectivity are expensive and can be unreliable.
Bringing high-speed internet access to these TVET colleges is creating a positive domino effect for the colleges, lecturers and students at the colleges, which is filtering directly into the surrounding communities. The impacts of the project has spread past the campus. For example, students at a TVET college situated in a rural area without decent mobile signal or proper telephony infrastructure don’t get the full benefits of the digital age to better their lives or to improve living standards. A student who now has access to high-speed internet at a TVET campus is in a position to transfer information and learning back into the community environment.
Offering students free communication tools, such as Fresh PHONE drives a positive change in the lives of community members. Fresh PHONE is essential residential phone product, which is something not many of the historically disadvantaged students have has access to. With Fresh PHONE students can carry a “home phone” in their pocket. Community and socio-economic development at this level is invaluable and sets the tone for a generation of educated, tech-savvy, thinkers and leaders of tomorrow.
Euphoria Telecom and SABEN share the same vision for TVET colleges, more specifically for the rural, under-serviced areas in South Africa. Through SABEN, Euphoria is bringing affordable voice communications to the TVET colleges and FREE voice communications between students and colleges. The hope is that by providing these services, the same positive domino effect will begin to cascade through the TVET colleges and into the communities and homes of citizens living in those areas.
How will this be done?
SABEN acts as a conduit for the roll out of high-speed internet and free voice communications to TVET colleges and the larger communities. Euphoria Telecom shares this vision, facilitating the process by providing support to SABEN to migrate TVET colleges onto the Euphoria cloud PBX platform. Euphoria and SABEN will continue to work closely to successfully implement these services for TVET colleges and their students.
SABEN will also be using the Fresh PHONE service for TVET students. Students can setup their own individual Fresh PHONE account directly from their mobile device and use their mobile device to place and receive calls on the Euphoria network, making these calls zero-rated (no cost).
*Fresh PHONE is a Euphoria developed product, developed for the residential market using FTTH (Fiber to the Home). Fresh PHONE is a free service with no monthly service fees – making it an ideal solution for students. It is quick and simple to setup and each user receives R5 free airtime on signup to test the system.
How will it work, in terms of allocation to deserving participants, how will they be chosen and what can the service be used for?
SABEN is currently responsible for rolling out high-speed internet through self-procured networks at almost 20 of the 50 TVET colleges on their network. SABEN will start with these 17 TVET colleges and their students.
If you are a school or TVET college not already part of the SABEN network and are interested in utilising these services, feel free to get in touch with SABEN (firstname.lastname@example.org)
What is the motivation behind it?
The SABEN (South African Broadband Education Networks) projects purpose is to solve bandwidth poverty at South Africa’s TVET colleges [read more here: http://www.saben.ac.za/]. As the TVET system is a key contributor to the overall success of South Africa’s education sector, labour market and ultimately its future economic growth, the roll out of high-speed internet at TVET colleges is critical.
Being able to deliver reliable communication solutions to students and TVET colleges, without the massive resource constraints is essential, if we are going to see a successful future for our country.
When is it expected to be rolled out?
This VOIP initiative has already made progress at several colleges and we are seeing significant (successful) results. SABEN currently serves colleges across South Africa, including Gauteng, Eastern Cape, Northwest, Mpumalanga and Western Cape provinces, with others coming on line over the next 18 months..
By ‘Affordable’, for how much will it be offered?
SABEN is a non-profit organisation and uses its partnerships to deliver high-speed internet, affordable voice calling and other services to the under-serviced areas in South Africa. Service providers like Euphoria Telecom offer their technology at significantly discounted costs or at no cost – this is in line with the shared vision and purpose.
Learn more about SABEN – www.saben.ac.za