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JSE listed airliner Comair has diversified into the mobile Internet industry through a joint venture with listed telecommunications company Altech.
Kulula.com, the budget airliner under Comair, on Wednesday launched a new budget mobile Internet service called Kulula Connect, which promises affordable Internet connection using 3G technology.
Altech will act as the service provider, while Vodacom and MTN will provide the network.
Gidon Novick, Comair's joint chief executive, said yesterday: "The service is already in the market, but we feel that through our big customer base and trusted brand we can bring value to the market. It's really a question of pricing."
The entry level product costs R60 a month for 40 megabytes of data. While highly affordable, this is not much data for someone using video and music download applications regularly.
Tshepo Tsele, computer scientist and director of Paperless Consulting, said: "It's not very different from what other providers are providing.
"The 1 gigabyte package is pretty close to current industry prices, but some people don't really use it all up at once. The R60 package is ideal for people who just want to check e-mails and use basic communication applications."
A visit to an Internet café will set you back about R20 for 30 minutes of Internet usage. The R60 a month 40 megabyte deal equates to more than 10 times the visits to the Internet café.
Novick would not say how much of the product had already been taken up by customers.
"It won't be a huge player in the market, but at least people will start to have more choice in what service they use, even if it's on MTN and Vodacom's network," said Tsele.