Photo - (From left) Datuk Eddie Chai, Group Managing Director of XOX Berhad; Ng Kok Heng, Group CEO of XOX Berhad; and Pekka Peltola, Chairman of e-horizon.
Malaysian mobile services operator XOX Berhad [XOX] has signed with Sweden's e-horizon to help push the XOX's mobile services app Voopee to global audiences.
During the signing ceremony, XOX Group chief executive officer Ng Kok Heng said Voopee, which is a mobile soft device that allows mobile operators to provide Voice-Over-Internet-Protocol (VoIP) and messaging services that "are superior to what is provided by Internet-based smartphone calls and messaging service providers."
Unlike traditional communication apps, mobile soft devices work in similar ways to Internet services when user is connected to the Internet but enables users to communicate both online and offline, said Ng.
Voopee, which was jointly developed by XOX and e-horizon, allows smartphone users to have an actual second mobile number, minus the need for an additional phone or SIM card, he said.
Since Voopee's launch in January 2014, its user base as grown to include users in Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Japan, Indonesia, UK, Australia, Thailand, China, Taiwan and Malaysia, said Ng.
This new agreement between XOX and e-horizon will see the establishment of a joint venture new company (NewCo) in Sweden, he said. "The new entity will be the launchpad to market Voopee to a wider global audience, going beyond its current South East Asian base."
Viable solution to counter OTT services
"Voopee offers a viable solution to telecommunication players who are concerned that Over-The-Top (OTT) services are eroding revenue. Voopee can generate incremental revenue for mobile operators from consumers aside from voice, text messages and internet broadband," said Ng,
"Consumers are turning to Voopee because its voice quality and messaging services are superior to Internet-based smartphone calls and messaging services," he said. "So fewer missed or delayed messages, clearer voice calls and no lag or echo as well as an actual number where users are contactable whether they are online or offline. For these and many other benefits, consumers are willing to pay ensuring that mobile operators are fairly compensated,"
e-horizon chairman, Pekke Peltola, said, "Revenue for mobile operators is falling in mature markets as more people opt for Internet communications services through apps."
"European and American mobile operators are especially hard hit when it comes to their traditional revenue stream," said Peltola. "With the formation of the joint venture Company based in Sweden, we will take on the role of marketing Voopee to the American and European markets. Our exploratory meetings with mobile operators in these regions have been very positive, with much interest in offering Voopee as a revenue-generating service to their user base."
XOX's Ng said that mobile applications allow smartphone users to use services such as text, voice, photo messaging and more with a minimal broadband charge, with many users using free Wi-Fi wherever available.
"This trend is here to stay as existing applications gain more sophistication, and new features," he said. "However, these applications do not allow cross application communication. For example, WhatsApp cannot communicate with WeChat, Viber, Line or vice versa. These are stand alones. So we end up with many applications and we are constantly checking our phones for messages on different applications. Also, these applications are not able to communicate with existing mobile lines and fixed lines."
"Voopee integrates all services, from Voopee to Voopee text messaging, voice bubble messaging, photo messaging, stickers messaging
and will very soon integrate video messaging," said Ng. "The app also allows for multimedia messaging to non-Voopee users. Currently, Voopee also offers excellent call quality through the Voopee to Voopee calls and the first in the world to offer Voopee to mobile and fixed line calls. All these benefits to users and incremental revenue for telcos are a winning proposition for all parties."
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