05 September 2007
Singapore, 5 September 2007 — StarHub's Advanced Multimedia Services, a new unit within StarHub that focuses on creating network and operator neutral applications, today announces the commercial launch of pfingo, an integrated application that aims at simplifying people's ever busy lifestyles by giving you easy access to your favourite online communication and information services, whether you are at your desk or on the go. The pfingo client can be installed in your mobile phone and PC, regardless of your locality and the mobile or fixed network you are connected to.
The product launch today follows the successful public trial kicked off in April 2007. During the trial, more than 30,000 users worldwide have signed up and installed the pfingo client in their mobile phone and/or PC. From servicing provisioning, user support to feedback management, the trial was conducted entirely Internet-based at the pfingo portal (www.pfingo.com).
"We are indeed very excited about our pfingo launch, and are especially encouraged by the overwhelming interest from local and global mobile and internet users alike," said Mr Chan Kin Hung, Head, Advanced Multimedia Services, StarHub. "Over the past few months, we have collected useful feedback from the participants on what product features they liked or disliked, and worked on refining the service to better meet their expectations. It is almost like having the users as part of our product design team, and we are proud that the actual pfingo product has been 'co-designed' and built together with our customers in the Internet community worldwide."
As at end August 2007, 40% of the 30,000-strong pfingo trial base was international mobile users while the remainder was made up of an equal split between StarHub and local mobile users of other networks. Our online survey has revealed that they mostly used pfingo services from their home, public Wi-Fi hotspots and the office. Some of them have told us that they often use the services at a hotel overseas to stay connected with their contacts, and found pfingo to be cost-effective and really simple to use even when they travel overseas.
The trial results also showed that users were enthusiastic about the pfingo suite of services. pfingoTALK, mobile instant messaging and push email were, in particular, the most frequently accessed applications.
pfingoTALK was popular for attractive propositions such as free outgoing calls to pfingoTALK and any Singapore phone number, good voice quality, mobility of the service (it can be accessed from Wi-Fi mobile phones), ownership of a 3-series Singapore phone number for life, and the ability to send SMS messages. On the other hand, mobile instant messaging, push mail, PIM (Personal Information Management) synchronisation, push news and stocks, as well as remote file management top the list of well-received pfingoACTIVE services.
At launch, pfingoTALK and pfingoACTIVE are available as subscription-based services while pfingoMAIL comes free-of-charge when you subscribe to either of these services (Refer to Editor's Notes for the pricing plans). Customers can pay for pfingo services via secure online credit card payment.
Users have a choice to either subscribe to the monthly or yearly plan for greater savings in the use of pfingoTALK or pfingoACTIVE, while light or occasional users can go on the pay-as-you-use basis. In addition to subscribing to the specific pfingo service they want such as pfingoACTIVE , they need to take up a data plan from their respective mobile service providers or Wi-Fi hotspot operators.
Besides the above basic services, the pfingo development team has taken pfingo to the next level by offering various enhanced features for greater ease-of-use and convenience for customers.
Mr Chan explained, "We have set out to test our technological and operational capabilities to offer an operator-neutral fixed and mobile Internet service suite to allow consumers to access their existing favourite web-based services at their fingertips. Our trial successfully confirms our technology readiness and technical advantage, helps us better understand our customers' preferences, as well as enables us to identify areas to enhance our product roadmaps to meet today's and tomorrow's customer requirements."
For instance, the new pfingoTALK value-added service called myGlobal Number allows you to obtain a foreign number that is linked to your pfingoTALK account so that your contacts in that country can dial this number to reach you and pay only their local calling rate.
From 8 September 2007, users can subscribe to this service for a USA, UK or Australia fixed-line number while other foreign numbers will be made available later depending on user demand.
myGlobal Number comes with two versions - 'Public' and "Private". The 'Public' version allows anyone in the foreign country to reach you at a particular foreign phone number and pay only local calling rate. To enjoy this service, you simply pay a flat monthly subscription of S$12 for each foreign number, with unlimited incoming calls.
For the 'Private' version, you can assign up to three contact numbers in a particular overseas country to dial the foreign number you obtained, at local calling rate. For example, your can select your US friend, Philip, to call your pfingoTALK myGlobal US Number, and only he can contact you at that number but not others. With this service, pfingoTALK customers can be reached easily and cost-effectively by their overseas contacts as if they were in that specific foreign country. The subscription is priced at a low monthly fee of S$1.50 per foreign number for three contacts, with incoming calls affordably charged at S$0.03 per minute.
Another enhancement resulted from the pfingo public trial is the added capability of the pfingoTALK service, so the single 3-series pfingoTALK number gives you more than just an Internet voice service. We have added fax in/out services that enables our customers to receive and send faxes using the same 3-series number. In addition, we have incorporated two-way SMS services, you can now send and received SMSes over the Internet through the pfingoTALK Softphone.
You will never worry about any missed calls with Missed Call Notification which automatically activates an SMS and email to be sent to you when you are unable to take a call. Additionally, any voice mail left by your contacts is converted to an audio file and pushed directly to your email inbox accessible from your mobile phone or PC. This service is aptly named voiceEmail.
"pfingoTALK opens up a new way for our customers to communicate and to manage their communication needs easily and effectively. The new enhancements enable our customers to use their 3-series number essentially as a universal number that can be linked to one or multiple global numbers for their overseas contacts to call them at local rates, as if they were present in those respective countries. With the same number they can also send and receive faxes as well as SMSes. And no more worries about being out of touch as your contacts can leave you a voice message, which will be sent as an audio file to your email inbox. You will also be notified via the SMS when there is a missed call," added Mr Chan.
Refer to the Editor's Notes for other newly added features added to pfingoTALK and pfingoACTIVE.
On the other hand, to thank the trial users for their support for pfingo, they will enjoy a waiver on the pay-as-you-use subscription fee (S$12 for 12 months), as well as 12-month subscription to the "myGlobal Number: Private " service (they can select either a US, UK or Australia phone number) worth S$18, to continue to test new pfingo services.pfingo Pricing Plans
pfingo Pricing Plans