SOURCE: Kirusa


February 16, 2009 01:00 ET

Visafone Launches Kirusa Voice SMS Service in Nigeria

Introduces a User-Friendly Voice Messaging Option to Nigeria

BARCELONA, SPAIN--(Marketwire - February 16, 2009) - Mobile World Congress -- Visafone Communications Limited, a wholly owned Nigerian Telecommunications Company, has launched Voice SMS across Nigeria. The Voice SMS solution has been sourced from Kirusa, the world's leading provider of Voice SMS and a leading developer of mobile value added services.

Voice SMS allows subscribers to send messages by voice, eliminating the need to type. Subscribers can communicate faster, with greater ease, and convey emotions as compared to limitations of text messages. Use of Voice SMS by mobile subscribers has spread rapidly across the globe.

Visafone subscribers need to dial '*' followed by the mobile number and speak a short message for 30 seconds in the language of their choice. A recipient on Visafone network gets an SMS message from the sender, and can dial *0* to hear new voice messages. He can directly retrieve a specific message by dialing a DirectListen™ number in the message. He can also retrieve previously listened to voice messages by dialing *1*. A recipient on another mobile network will get an SMS message from the sender, which he can retrieve by directly dialing a DirectListen™ number in the message. Voice SMS messages can be replied to, forwarded, saved, or deleted. Visafone subscribers pay a price of 15 Naira (approximately US 10 cents) for on-net and 20 Naira (approximately US 14 cents) for off-net messaging to send the messages within Nigeria. First retrieval of a Voice SMS message is free. Subscribers are charged 0.15 Naira per second for subsequent retrievals.

Vinod Shah, COO of Visafone, said on the occasion, "We believe that Voice SMS has great potential in Nigeria. It has a broad appeal across segments. Young Visafone subscribers will find this service a great way to connect with friends. Older subscribers will find it appealing for its ease of use and customized services. This service will empower Nigerians at all literacy levels to send short messages that will convey meanings and feelings in the way the sender wants it interpreted. It will also address the issue of not knowing what to write in an SMS as spoken words are more expressive." He further added, "Kirusa offered us an unbeatable package -- an industry leading and proven product with unmatched technological edge; perfect understanding of our business requirements. We found their ability to provide a strong International Voice SMS service a definite draw."

Visafone's Voice SMS service is available to all its prepaid and postpaid subscribers. To deliver the service, Kirusa has deployed its Voice SMS application, integrated with the Voxpilot Open Media Platform, in Visafone's nationwide mobile network.

Speaking on the occasion, Taranjit Singh Batra, VP Sales of Kirusa, said, "The Kirusa Voice SMS has proved successful in multilingual markets and we hope to replicate this success in Nigeria. We believe the availability of this service, its user-friendliness and flexibility will present a great attraction for the people of Nigeria."

About Visafone

Visafone Communications Limited is a wholly owned Nigerian telecommunications company incorporated on June 20, 2007 following the acquisition of Cellcom. Visafone received its Unified Access Service license as a telecom operator from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) on August 1, 2007.

Less than two months after its registration Visafone was announced the Approved Bidder for the 3 carriers in the 800 MHz spectrum put on auction by the NCC which allowed it roll out its mobile services (voice and broad band internet) across Nigeria.

Visafone commenced commercial operations on February 22, 2008 by rolling out a 3G RevA CDMA network in Nigeria and has garnered a record breaking 2.5 million subscribers in just 10 months thus making it the fastest-growing mobile phone company in Nigeria.

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About Kirusa

Kirusa is the world's leading vendor of Voice SMS and a leading developer of mobile value added services. Kirusa's solutions include the hugely successful KV.SMS™, the world's most advanced "Voice SMS" solution that has been selected by more than twenty five carriers around the world. Kirusa Voice SMS enables mobile subscribers to send messages by speaking. A user 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. Kirusa's solution works on all handsets and on all networks, and offers the industry's most intuitive user interface, with features such as DirectListen™ for direct access and reply to messages, Speed Codes™ for quickly sending messages, group messaging, mobile number portability, background music, interconnection, international Voice SMS. KV.SMS can be deployed in a matter of weeks, and its rapid user adoption has led to explosive revenue growth for Kirusa's customers. Kirusa offers an exchange service for interconnection of Voice SMS messages between carriers, and is pioneering a suite of applications that touch mobile users through voice. Kirusa has partnered with Qualcomm to deliver a Brew client for sending and receiving Voice SMS messages. Kirusa solutions are built on Kirusa's patented and patent pending technology and its highly reliable and scalable multimodal platform. The platform enables carriers to cost effectively deploy additional revenue generating applications such as messaging, search, information, and entertainment. Kirusa's solutions are used by mobile subscribers millions of times daily. Kirusa has been recognized as one of top 100 technology companies by Silicon India for years 2007 and 2008, and one of top 25 emerging technology companies by Smart Techie magazine. Headquartered in New Jersey and led by an experienced team of wireless telecom executives and technologists, Kirusa has sales offices in three continents, with research and development facilities in New Delhi and in Bangalore, India. 'Kirusa Voice SMS,' 'DirectListen™' and 'Speed Codes' are trademarks of Kirusa, Inc. For more information, please visit

Contact Information

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