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Efonica plans Middle East service expansion

Internet telephony outfit Efonica has outlined its network development plans to provide secure communications services to businesses and end-users across the Middle East.

Internet telephony outfit Efonica has outlined its network development plans to provide secure communications services to businesses and end-users across the Middle East.

Efonica, which has offices in Dubai Internet City and New York, plans to offer its services on a unique network running on technology that eliminates the routing method used by many other voice over IP peer-to-peer networks, in which many users’ internet bandwidth and PCs are utilised as part of the carrier’s larger network to set up calls for thousands of other users.

Fusion Telecommunications International, the parent company of Efonica, filed a patent application last month with the US Patent Office for its directed session initiated protocol (SIP) peer-to-peer (DSP) technology. The patent application describes a system that Fusion plans to utilise to provide its free service between SIP devices.

“Fusion is incorporating its DSP technology into the company’s international network for internet voice calls between any combination of computers, internet connected telephones, wireless devices, and other SIP-enabled hardware,” explained Marwan Khadij, business development manager at Efonica. “We believe Efonica branded applications and uniquely configured VoIP network will provide significant advantages over most VoIP peer-to-peer networks.”

Based on its new VoIP offering, Efonica plans to enter the free VoIP calling arena currently dominated by Skype. “Our ability to offer the advantages of this proprietary peer-to-peer technology will help differentiate ourselves from other VoIP service providers such as Vonage and Skype, as well as Google, AOL and Yahoo,” added Khadij.

“Fusion’s DSP technology should be of particular interest to security conscious individuals and businesses, a fast-growing segment as SIP is quickly becoming the de facto VoIP standard for communicating between VoIP hardware devices. We believe our entire communications package should be particularly advantageous for Fusion's primary target of the emerging markets of the Middle East, Asia, Latin America, Africa, and the Caribbean, and their related communities of interests,” concluded Khadij.

Fusion sales climbed 5.2% sequentially for the quarter ending March 2006 to hit US$9.5m with net losses of US$3m.

“During the past quarter, Fusion was highly focused on completing the building process initiated over the past fifteen months to support the launch of our Efonica VoIP services in the second quarter of this year," said Matthew Rosen, president and CEO of Fusion. "That has included designing and developing our VoIP network and technology infrastructure, expanding our marketing and business development capabilities, opening our new customer service centre, and completing the many other tasks critical to the successful introduction of our new retail VoIP services. While this significant undertaking affected our financial results, it was necessary to prepare our Company for the global launch of those services."

Rosen continued: “We have focused on elements that we believe will drive adoption of our retail Efonica VoIP service in targeted emerging markets. Our initial offering will combine free calling among the user community with a compelling set of optional features available on a subscription basis. We believe the offer of free calling is a strong attraction for customers, while the ability to upgrade to features such as voicemail and the ability to complete calls to traditional fixed and mobile telephones will allow us to generate revenue from the service.”

Rosen concluded: “We are firmly committed to our goal of becoming a leading provider of VoIP in the emerging markets of Asia, the Middle East, Africa, the Caribbean and Latin America. We believe we have the right components in place to drive the company’s customer and revenue growth through our compelling array of new VoIP services.”

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