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Warning: Be careful "upgrading" to Telkom wireless landline

We are a small business. We received a call from a Telkom representative informing us that out wired connection is to be terminated and they will send us a wireless device to replace it.

Two weeks later a parcel arrives. In it is a completely useless 3G mobile phone "desk phone" lookalike. We immediately contact Telkom business to inform them that we cannot use this as it cannot connect to our PABX. After getting the usual runaround we eventually were helped by a friendly lady that seemed to know what she was talking about and she promissed this would be canceled and a courier would be sent to pickup the phone. We should not worry as our line would not be canceled if we do not activate the phone. In any case they should have asked if we are using a PABX (they did not) as Telkom does not yet have a solution and besides - the copper infrastucture in our area (a collection of bussiness parks) is not scheduled to be terminated for some time yet. We would get an SMS confirming the cancelation (never got that).


Next morning: Bang ! Our business line is dead. More frantic calls. Confirming that the line is canceled. (We did not even take the wireless phone out of its box). So can we please have it back ? Our business needs the line. No sorry Sir. We cannot reinstate copper lines. More phone calls - passing the back with appolgies all around but no action or interest. Desperate we plug in the wireless phone. (Our PABX is now useless). You can imagine. But it gets worse - this thing is a piece of junk. Sound quality is terrible - like listening to low frequency voices through a tunnel.


Desperate I Google around (we really need that phone line). I find a Huawei router B525 for two grand that has a phone socket. I use the Telkom SIM card that came with the junk phone in the router and after some fiddling with the settings and a factory reset it starts to work. At least now we can plug in the PABX. Sound quality is better - but hey - it's a cell phone so it varies. There is an annoying 20 second wait when you dail out before it connects but at least we have something working on a temporary bases. 


We are now looking at an alternative solution - you can rest assured - it will not come from Telkom. I have had it.


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