Fusion unveils VoIP-based cheap-call service for normal phone users

Global internet telephony provider Fusion Telecommunications International has brought its Mobilink service to the region. Available immediately in Jordan and due to be rolled out in Bahrain within the next three months, this cheap-call service enables consumers to access the firm’s retail Efonica VoIP services from either their home or mobile phones without the need for either internet access or special software.

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By  Matthew Wade Published  January 16, 2007

Global internet telephony provider Fusion Telecommunications International has brought its Mobilink service to the region. Available immediately in Jordan and due to be rolled out in Bahrain within the next three months, this cheap-call service enables consumers to access the firm’s retail Efonica VoIP services from either their home or mobile phones without the need for either internet access or special software. The first stage of the process is that users sign up with Efonica and assign a special ‘e-number’ to either a landline or mobile phone. They must then dial an access number, which automatically authenticates their Efonica member status, before calling any number in the world (and enjoying savings - Fusion claims – of up to 80% compared to their usual mobile carrier rates). “Mobilink is similar to a calling card service in that a user calls a local number from their phone (whichever phone their Efonica ‘e-number’ is registered to), enter a pin code, and then dial directly,” explained Fusion’s business development director, Marwan Khadij. “As soon as other countries in the region open up to VoIP and we have licenses, this service will be accessible there too,” he added. An additional Mobilink feature allows users to call any ‘in-network’ Efonica subscriber worldwide for only the cost of a local call (i.e. without any national or international charges) by simply dialing ‘10’, the Worldwide Internet Area Code, prior to the registered phone number of the called party. Consumers in Jordan can subscribe to Mobilink now by visiting Efonica’s website at www.efonica.com and completing the registration process. Various payment mechanisms are available, including pre-paid credit in the form of Efonica’s online ‘e-cash’. Although Fusion's Mobilink service is unlikely to be available in the UAE and Saudi Arabia in the very near future, research house response IDC confirmed in December last year that is expects the Saudi Arabian government to continue pursuing its telecommunications liberalisation process during 2007. This could eventually lead to consumer VoIP services becoming officially available to end users. Meanwhile in the UAE, Etisalat and new second telco du are widely expected to begin offering their own VoIP services towards the end of this year, however this will not necessarily mean an end to the ban on unregulated services such as Skype et al.

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