South African tech companies biNu and Veedo have joined heads and successfully conceptualised and launched the country’s first data-free reverse-billing video conferencing platform.
Veedo is a fully featured, secure, browser-based, simple-to-use video conferencing solution with data-free mobile access in South Africa and is a purely South African product.
The Covid-19 pandemic has undoubtedly driven business leaders to rethink the way in which their businesses operate. However, like all online services, video conferencing consumes data and this can influence productivity in an emerging market like South Africa, where fibre and mobile data are expensive.
Because of these data charges – which come at a cost to the employee working from home – many companies contacted biNu (powering #datafree) with requests, asking if it was possible to enable zero-rated reverse billing for the various video conference platforms.
“Unfortunately, for a variety of technical reasons it is not feasible to enable reverse billing for these big global conferencing and streaming platforms,” said biNu CEO Gour Lentell.
“This thought, a reverse-billing video platform, did however present an opportunity for an emerging market like South Africa,” added Lentell.
The #datafree concept uses the telco reverse-billing method. Selected websites and applications become reverse-billed, based on IP address and URL. Accessing the reverse-billed content results in zero data cost for mobile subscribers.
Together with Mignon Hardie, co-founder at Veedo, the idea to create a data-free video platform was explored, and on June 1, Veedo was born.
All the user needs to use Veedo is a Chromium-based browser; no app is required. No airtime or data is needed to make use of the service.
“It was noted that the mass market in South Africa did not download apps for two reasons: one is that they do not have space on their phone for an app and the second is the cost of data used for downloading the app,” said Hardie.
“This is why the partnership with biNu made sense. Veedo provides the video-conferencing platform and biNu provides #datafree reverse billing,” explained Hardie.