Etisalat goes live with voice directory service

System can recognize commands in both Arabic and English regardless of caller dialect and accent

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  January 19, 2009

After months of in-house tweaking and testing, Etisalat has launched its voice directory service in an effort to reduce response times.

Initially available only to landline customers calling ‘181’, the service will soon be made available to Etisalat’s mobile customers as well.

The service works with the help of an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system that uses automatic speech recognition to distinguish commands in both Arabic and English, regardless of caller accent or dialect.

As the service is only in its first phase, it can presently only provide listings for five main categories – finance, travel, hotels, restaurants and healthcare. Other categories will be included at a later stage.

Customer service agents at Etisalat, who previously handled directory enquiries, will now provide support for other categories and requests that the system can’t handle.

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