Mail Your Voice@Rs 6



There’s good news for all those making long distance calls. You can now
send voice messages to any telephone number across India within 15 minutes or to
anywhere in the world through a pre-registered e-mail account. What’s more,
you can book a message today and specify the time of delivery for a particular
date a year down the line. In order to access this service, all you have to do
is pay Rs 6 for one way messaging. And in case you prefer to receive a reply
recorded in the recipient’s voice, you could book a minute of response time by
paying Rs 4 extra.

USING HALLO: How it works
  • Call the Deltagram number
  • Enter your card number and password
  • Enter the STD code
  • Enter the recipient’s phone number
  • Record your message
  • Request for a reply in case you would like one
  • The voice is captured and moved to the city of the destination of
    the message
  • The recipient is called and your voice message is delivered
  • The reply (if asked for) is collected, delivered to the sender

This is Hallo for you, a personalized ‘mail your voice’ service from
Chennai-based network enabled service provider Deltagram. Talking about the
company’s new offering, Deltagram managing director R Kothandaraman says,
‘‘A Hallo user needs to purchase a membership card(priced at Rs 6 and Rs
10). These cards will be soon available at all major retail outlets across the
country. Every Hallo card will have a unique PIN number and a local Deltagram
telephone number. Users simply need to call at the local Hallo number and
dictate the message." The message will be recorded using Deltagram’s
interactive voice response (IVR) software that also guides the user through the
entire process. "We have finally been able to break the language barrier
posed by e-mail as voice mail messages can be recorded in any language," he
adds.

The company launched the service in Chennai on December 15. It has tied up
with distributors in Southern India and plans to market Hallo pre-paid cards
across the country by Q2 2002 through franchisees. It also plans to rope in PCOs
(public call offices) as voice-mail centers. ‘‘In order to be absorbed as
franchisees, PCOs will be required to pay a fee of Rs 5,000 of which we will be
giving them Hallo cards worth Rs 3,000,’’ adds Kothandaraman.

Deltagram Network Architechture
  • Central Server
  • Nodal Servers in 250 cities(one per district)
  • Terminal infrastructure in over 25,000 towns and villages (one per
    pincode)
  • Retail street front communication points in over 250,000 locations

R
Kothandaraman

MD, Deltagram

Deltagram has invested Rs 25 crore in the first phase of setting up its
network of 53 VSATs. While it presently has 50 earth stations connecting 250
towns and over 5,000 collection center across India, it plans to expand the
network to all 25,000 pin code areas (as defined by the post and telegraph
department) through 250 telecom districts. Each telecom district will be managed
by a licensed business associate. Each of the 25,000 pin code areas will have a
Deltagram digital post ofice delivery center (DDPO-DC). Every DDPO-DC will be
supported by 10 Deltagram digital post office collection centers (DDPO-CC). Its
central server located in Chennai will serve as the hub of the network.

The company also has offerings like MNet and Bizcomnet for the corporate
segment. And while the corporate segment promises a low volume high value
market, a recent ORG Marg survey commissioned by the company shows that 34% of
the Indian populace is willing to use e-communication products and services. The
survey was conducted across 26 cities with a sample size of 36,000. ‘‘The
only barrier in leveraging on these services was the low penetration of PCs and
with the launch of Hallo we have changed the end device itself–from a PC to a
telephone instrument. And despite the fact that actual tele penetration in the
country is around 2%, the fact is that it has a 98% user base,’’ he
explains. In the long-term, however, the company is looking at a 50:50 mix from
the corporate and retail segments.

SHUBHENDU PARTH in Chennai

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *