Fastlink Launches First Middle Eastern Speech Recognition System

Fastlink, part of the Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC) Group, has just launched Hala, the first automatic speech recognition (ASR) system in the Middle East and first to accommodate the Arabic language.

The system replaces an aging interactive voice response (IVR) system in its customer care center, which receives more than 350,000 phone calls a day.

Fastlink's customers can now use the system for free by calling 1234 and interacting with an imaginary, polite and hospitable character known as "Hala". Callers can also inquire about various services without having to call the customer service center employee. Having this new system will increase the customer care center's capacity and allow for the receipt of more than thousands of phone calls every day.

The system can recognize the most common dialects in Jordan and has a linguistic storage capacity of 150,000 words.

The ASR system was launched concurrently with the announcement of the new SMS enquiry service to 1234 which will be available to customers soon. This service allows all its customers to benefit from the services of the customer care center by sending request or enquiry SMSs in Arabic, English, and even slang to 1234 to receive a quick SMS response.

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