MTN Business Kenya launches IP PBX service in Kisumu

Tom Omariba (right) with other guests during the MTN Business Kenya launch

MTN Business Kenya has today launched its Internet Protocol (IP) Private Automatic Branch Exchange (PABX) in Kisumu. PABX is a software-based telephone exchange service that has taken on the traditional Private Branch Exchange (PBX) in business environments.

The Kisumu launch is the first outside Nairobi where the service was first unveiled in August last year by Communication Permanent Secretary (PS) Bitange Ndemo. Speaking during the Kisumu launch, the company’s managing director, Tom Omariba said plans are also at an advanced stage to launch the service in other towns where MTN Business has a point of service.

“We plan to do a similar launch in Mombasa,” said Mr. Omariba. The facility, which the company describes as “a seamless and digitized telephony” solution dubbed the MTN Managed IP PBX service, is a combination of technologies designed to deliver innovative telephony to business over the Internet.

The solution is available in the Kenya market but will likely be rolled out across the MTN Group’s operations on the African continent. As a hosted service, it is aimed at helping businesses to significantly reduce any capital expenditure, maintenance and total network costs.

The system also simultaneously increases access to converged applications, letting data and voice, IP and GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) – based applications to be managed together. The PABX includes real-time management features that give businesses the ability to monitor services via a user-friendly online portal.

“As voice over Internet protocol (VoIP) matures, the hardware PBX has become increasingly irrelevant,” said Mr. Omariba, adding that all of its functions can be replaced by software, while a range of additional functionality can be introduced.

The facility has built-in, cost-effective routing that evaluates each outgoing call and selects the most appropriate breakout point to further reduce costs. The solution is also built upon the MTN core network infrastructure and subject to strict controls that ensure high levels of availability and reliability.