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BeepTool has all the power of Skype, priced for Africa
15th Nov 2014
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BeepTool has all the power of Skype, priced for Africa

BeepTool Rates Comparison Africa has the world’s fastest-growing middle class and the world’s fastest-growing mobile phone market. BeepTool is helping to fuel that rise by offering affordable alternatives to service providers that price many Africans out of using their mobile phones to their potential. “I am not in business to make money at once,” said John Enoh, 34, CEO and President of BeepTool. Instead, Enoh is playing a long game. “Our argument is that if people could stay on WiFi 20 percent to 80 percent of their time or have already paid for data on their GSM provider, why should they also pay high rates for voice calls?” BeepTool offers all the services of a standard talk-and-text app — including free in-app calls, messaging, file and picture transfer, and group video talk. The difference is that BeepTool’s rates to landlines and mobile phones, domestic and international, are the lowest anywhere. For example, someone in Nigeria could call his or her relative in the United Kingdom for just $0.008 per minute. BeepTool’s user base and topups are growing fast. In early stage launch, the BeepTool app, which is free to download from Google Play or the iTunes Story, now has more than 15,000 users. It is on track to reach more than 800,000 users in three years. Enoh, a UK-educated programmer from rural Nigeria, sees his company as a vehicle to broader social goals, including economic development and greater access to information on the continent. “We’re proud to be a part of Africa’s telecommunications boom,” Enoh says. “But we’re not satisfied with just creating another Viber and calling it a day. Through partnerships with private sector and government, we believe we can someday bring WiFi to non-urban centers and increase economic opportunity for young Africans.” Enoh grew up far from any town. Even there in the Nigerian bush, mobile phones are commonplace now, but service is too expensive for a region where farming is the predominant industry. In 2012, he began developing BeepTool as a means of disrupting the service providers’ dominance. “BeepTool is part of a growing movement of domestic tech startups which empower Africans to compete globally,” he says. “We’re creating work opportunities, demand for smart phones, and cheap connectivity for individuals and businesses. Africans are pushing the limits to be on par with their counterparts in other climes.”