Zain, Kirusa ink voice SMS deal
Manama, January 15, 2009
Zain has signed a framework agreement with Kirusa, a leading vendor of Voice SMS and a leading developer of mobile value-added services, for supply of the popular Kirusa Voice SMS solution to the Zain Group.
The agreement would enable the Zain group, with mobile carriers across twenty-two countries, to source Voice SMS solution from Kirusa.
This landmark agreement will shorten the deployment cycle, and accelerate the availability of the innovative Voice SMS messaging service to mobile users in the Middle East and Africa, said a statement from Zain.
New Jersey-based Kirusa is a pioneer of the Voice SMS solution, a fast-growing service that allows customers to record and send messages by speaking.
A user simply dials * followed by the recipient’s number and speaks a short message. The recipient gets an SMS notification from the sender and can dial a number in the notification to directly access the spoken message.
Voice SMS is attracting customers from different geographies across the globe and has positioned itself firmly as a fast-growing, voice-based mobile messaging solution in the industry.
It is a new messaging paradigm providing asynchronous communication with voice. It is faster, easier, more personal and can be added to the wireless infrastructure with minimal impact.
This agreement once again shows Zain as an innovative carrier introducing new, relevant, cost-effective and contemporary value-added services to its vast base of mobile customers across the two continents, said a top official.
"Voice SMS augments Zain’s value-added offerings for our combined customer base of over 56 million," Tito Alai, chief commercial officer of Zain Group, commented.
"We firmly believe that Voice SMS is a strategic fit for us and we are confident that Zain’s implementation of Kirusa’s Voice SMS solution will assist our mobile operations in increasing their average revenue per user (ARPU) and in substantially differentiating our services," Alai opined.
The agreement was signed after Kirusa successfully conducted a pilot Voice SMS project at a Zain carrier, he added.
Dr Inderpal Singh Mumick, CEO of Kirusa, said, "Kirusa Voice SMS has seen major success in Middle East, South Asia, Africa, and LatAm markets."
"Over the past few months, we have invested significantly in developing our service delivery capability in these regions, and the decision by Zain group to select Kirusa is a validation of our strategy."
"I am happy to say that Kirusa is well positioned to deliver to carriers across Africa and Middle East with the best-in-class product and advanced feature sets like International Voice SMS, Voice SMS Exchange, Convergent Voice SMS, Brew and Java clients," Dr Mumick added.
Alai said the key criteria for selecting Kirusa was its ability to provide customers with a convenient and cost-effective way to connect with friends, family and business colleagues with a scalable solution that can serve the needs of operators of all sizes within the Zain group.
Zain was also impressed with Kirusa’s International Voice SMS capability, allowing mobile customers to send a Voice SMS to people across the globe whenever convenient, without having to worry about time zone differences or the high cost of international voice calling, he added.
The recipient is able to retrieve the International Voice SMS with a local call, and reply to it easily.
Under this agreement, Kirusa will provide Zain a full turnkey Voice SMS solution with best-in-class user features that works for all generations and types of networks.
Rapidly deployed, Kirusa’s cost-effective solution easily integrates with existing network, messaging and billing infrastructures to quickly begin building new revenues.
Its deployment will lower the cost of communication for Zain’s customers, while providing a greater brand exposure for Zain acro