With One Voice Technologies, India's Residents Enter Dialtone 2.0
One Voice Technologies, a voice solutions developer for the telecommunications and interactive multimedia markets, announced yesterday a contract with Mahangar Telephone Nigman Ltd. (MTNL), India's government-owned national telephone company. In the deal, One Voice will provide its MobileVoice email reader, which allows MTNL subscribers to read and send email from either a landline or mobile device.
The application will work with all MTNL phones, and gives subscribers access to providers such as Prodigy, Yahoo! Mail, Hotmail, Gmail, AOL Mail; and POP3 and IMAP corporate email accounts.
One Voice also recently struck a deal with Telefonos del Noroeste (TELNOR) to offer its MobileVoice Landline service to telephone customers in Mexico. Under the brand name IRIS, the service includes voice dialing, group calling, conference calling, and the ability to read and send emails to any email account worldwide. The service is available every time a user picks up his TELNOR home or business phone; at public phones, he has to dial *233. A toll-free number is available so users traveling to the United States and Canada can still dial into the service.
The deal with MTNL will potentially reach 6.3 million mobile and landline customers. As One Voice's president and CEO Dean Weber explains, countries like Mexico and India have different in-home technology offerings, and therefore have an even greater demand for mobile email access than the U.S.
"In areas like Mexico and India, where there's a lower penetration of computers in the home, people want access to email on their mobile device," Weber says. "To give email access anytime, anywhere is a tremendous benefit."
In addition to a lesser home PC presence, Weber also cites both country's long commute times as another benefit of One Voice's services. "They are very long commutes in Mexico, Mumbai, and New Delhi, because they all have tremendous populations," he states. "Commuters need access to critical emails or group calls."
The company worked with both in-house language experts to develop services in Hindu and Spanish, as well as local partners. In India, for example, Tata Group aided the MTNL project's speech-to-text (STT) and text-to-speech (TTS) capabilities. Weber adds that One Voice will add group calling, voice dialing, and STT SMS transcription to its list of capabilities. One Voice's services in India will launch soon, while Telmex deployed the service last month.