Kalaam Telecom enters into a strategic partnership with Bharti Airtel to enhance its global connectivity

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Kalaam Telecom enters into a strategic partnership with Bharti Airtel to enhance its global connectivity

Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain: Bahrain-based operator Kalaam Telecom today announced that it has entered into a strategic alliance with Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecom service provider with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Under the agreement, Kalaam Telecom has established a direct interconnection with Bharti Airtel’s PoP in London and has access to Bharti Airtel’s global network infrastructure. This will allow Kalaam Telecom to expand its data services portfolio and extend connectivity to the Middle East and GCC region over a number of optimal, low-latency routes. Through an access to over 20 submarine cables and satellite teleports across the globe, Kalaam Telecom will also be able to provide concrete resiliency features against cable cuts between Europe, Africa and Asia.

Kalaam Telecom’s CEO, Veer Passi, CEO stated: “This announcement marks a significant milestone in extending our connectivity from Bahrain outwards across the region and globally. This coupled with increasing our capacity and our unique access to over 130 operational POPs, through our powerful partner Airtel extends our global network reach. The partnership will allow Kalaam Telecom to offer state-of-the-art products and services to its wholesale customers including, for instance, carrier Ethernet, fully managed MPLS IP-VPNs, SDH and wavelength services and global IP transit that are seamless, strategic and moreover cost-effective. Further, multinational companies with a presence in Bahrain can greatly benefit from our carefully-engineered services to connect to their off-shore offices/headquarters across all continents through our highly-available, low-latency and redundant routes.”

“With the ever-increasing customer demands of low-latency connectivity to Europe, the strategic alliance with Airtel has come to help us better serve our customers. The deal takes into account the major drawbacks carriers face nowadays in terms of availability, service manageability and SLAs. We are glad to enter this partnership with a truly global Telco like Airtel.” Eyad Al- Naqi, Wholesale Products and Service Manager, Kalaam, added. “One of the key reasons why we chose Airtel is because of the deal flexibility in terms optical multiplexing capabilities at speeds of 1G and 10G, as well as the remarkable footprint of Airtel’s increasingly popular Carrier Ethernet,” Mr. Al-Naqi explained.

Kalaam’s ‘bandwidth-on-demand’ option provides freedom to extend bandwidth limits in real-time

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Manama, Bahrain, 2013: ‘The demand for surging amounts of bandwidth required by the businesses the world over is steadily growing. Research reveals that demand for international bandwidth grew 39% in 2012, and at a compounded annual rate of 53% between 2007 and 2012. While unlimited bandwidth is the norm, corporates in Bahrain are also opting for true bandwidth-on-demand which they can control as and whenever required,’ said Veer Passi, CEO of Kalaam Telecom Bahrain. Kalaam Telecom’s Dedicated Internet Access (DIA) comes with Fixed and Burstable bandwidth – with a unique technology based on the circuit-switched network systems that gives our customer the freedom to dynamically increase (or decrease) the bandwidth and pay/per day usage,’

With bandwidth-on-demand, large enterprises like banks, hospitals, hotels chains can subscribe to DIA with symmetrical upload/download capacity for a fixed term and also have the facility to meet planned/unplanned additional bandwidth requirements at any given time during the contract period without worrying about long-term commitment. This cost-effectively meets the highly versatile requirements for additional data transfer power, which can be reversed after the requirement is met, says ‘Srinivasan Arumugam, Head, Network Operations, Kalaam Telecom

One of Kalaam’s customers, Mohsen Constructions regularly and successfully avail of Kalaam’s managed DIA bandwidth-on-demand service. ‘Whenever we are working on a project that requires massive amount of data transfer above our usual load, which is sometimes over three times the regular bandwidth, we give Kalaam a call and within an couple of hours – our bandwidth capacity is increased, says, Mohammed Khalil, the IT Systems Engineer.

Elite Hospitality Group’s IT Head Ms. Lalita Manjunath explains how they recently used Dedicated Internet Service from Kalaam Telecom: ‘Kalaam’s service recently allowed us to economically eliminate all barriers associated with the extension of the high-bandwidth broadband services to our another hotel, Elite Seef Residence & Hotel. The Kalaam solution enabled us to quickly and easily deploy high-bandwidth services to the new site in an economical way. The solution has also allowed us to tailor those broadband services to meet the specific needs of each of our hotels and serviced apartments at various locations.’

Elite Hospitality Group awards Kalaam Telecom, ICT Service Provider Contract

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In a signing ceremony held at Elite Resort and Spa, Muharraq, Elite Hospitality Group’s Chief Operating Officer Mr Sarosh Aibara, said: “In today’s environment, internet plays a large role in our lives. Keeping in-line with Elite Hospitality Group’s technological vision, we stay abreast of new advancements and dynamically invest on this for the growth of our organisation and the convenience of our valued guests with the up to date release of broadband technology. We have opted to upgrade by connecting with the Internet technology bringing the internet to life with faster speeds, no line dropouts, and an always-on connection. With this in mind we are pleased to have selected Kalaam Telecom as our service provider.”

Kalaam Telecom’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Veer Passi said: “We are pleased to be selected as Elite’s partner and to deploy a one-stop ICT solution based on Next Generation Premium Technology in all their properties. The centralized data and bandwidth management solution is fully redundant ensuring 100% connectivity at consistent speeds with no down-time. Further, Internet speeds can be increased as and when required through ‘bandwidth-on-demand’ feature, which is ideal for seasonal or cyclic nature of the hospitality industry. Kalaam Telecom’s expertise-in implementing a scalable solution that will not only meet Elite’s immediate requirement but also take care of their requirement for the forthcoming years without the need for more investment-is the key factor that sets us apart as a ICT service provider.”

Avinash Phandis our Chief Financial Officer said: “Kalaam Telecom was chosen for its innovative, cost-effective and expandable solutions that met Elite Hospitality Group’s standards. This move will further enhance our efforts to delight our guests, as also improve our central reservations network and our internal communications”

“This ICT-based solution provides immense flexibility to Elite and well-equips them to meet the ever-demanding, need for internet speed in this very competitive hospitality industry. It will act as a service-differentiator for the Elite Group, to whom, customer satisfaction is paramount. We look forward to a successful business partnership wherein we both continue to set high benchmarks in customer satisfaction, in our respective industries,” concluded Veer Passi.

K-talk kicks-off a “Talk & Win” extravaganza

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Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain. Kalaam Telecom’s pioneering international calling card, k-talk launches “Talk & Win” loyalty campaign at the peak of their 5th anniversary celebrations. “K-talk was the first and foremost calling card to be introduced in the Bahrain market in October 2005, and has been doing successfully well for the past 5 years, thanks to our loyal customer base.

On the occasion of our 5th anniversary, we are pleased to be giving our customers an opportunity to win more than 800 prizes through this „Talk and Win’ Campaign! K-talks 5th Anniversary celebrations started with the unveiling of our new K-talk card design in the beginning of the year, together with the launch of the „best minutes to India‟ campaign, followed by a two-month campaign (in June and July) offering amazing rates to top calling-destinations Philippines, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Pakistan. K-talk will continue to provide great value and service at very affordable rates” said Veer Passi, Chief Operating Officer, Kalaam Telecom.

The ‘Talk & Win’ campaign, which commences from 6th October and will end on 6th December offers K-talk international calling card users the chance to win a mega-prize – LCD TV; free tickets to India on Jet Airways; DVD Players, Digital Cameras, Mobiles phones and many more prizes besides K-talk calling cards.

Customers who buy and use a K-talk calling card (any denomination), are required to fill in their name and mobile number fields printed at the back of the K-talk card and drop it into one of the “Talk & Win” collection boxes that are installed at all BFC (Bahrain Financing Company) Branches at Adliya, Arad, Bahrain Mall, Bokhawara (‘West Riffa’), City Centre, Country Mall, Exhibition Road, Gudaibiya, Hamad Town, Hidd, Juffair, Lulu, Manama, Muharraq, North Muharraq, Riffa (‘East Riffa’), Salmabad, Salmaniya, Sanad, Seef Mall, Sitra, Souq, Waqf Building (Church) or additionally at any of the major k-talk resellers (visit www.kalaam-telecom.com for a complete list).

Four major draws will be held and the winners announced in the Gulf Madhyamam on Thursdays 21st October, 4 November, 25th November and 9th December. Further winners will also be contacted individually on their mobiles to collect their prizes.

Commenting on the launch of the promotion Mr. Jubin Koshy, Retail Sales Manager, Kalaam Telecom said, “The „Talk and Win‟ Campaign is all about rewarding our customers. We have always provided our customers with the best minutes and voice quality in the market and we will continue to maintain our domination in this segment. I am sure with k-talk‟s reputed brand complimenting the prizes being given away, “Talk & Win” will be a resounding success.”

BTM’s Telecom Review 2011: Tipping Point by David Robertson.

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Over the past five years, Bahrain This Month has written regularly about the state of the telecommunications market in the Kingdom. While the fireworks in the earlier years have given way to a period of relative calm, that looks about to change.

In some respects 2011 is a make or break year; it is set to be a tipping point. There are critical policy decisions to be made that will significantly shape the industry in the short- to medium-term, and perhaps, even the overall economy. In some quarters there is a renewed sense of optimism that the playing field will be a lot more level than it has been.

The developments that are driving this optimism are number portability, additional international connectivity, local loop unbundling and the release of the National Broadband Network (NBN) implementation strategy.

The comments from Veer Passi, Kalaam Telecom chief operating officer (page 86) suggest that, even after the wholesale price reductions demanded by the TRA from Batelco, VIVA offers competitive pricing in the wholesale market. It suggests a softer approach, where who is dominant or possesses market power is not the primary point of determination. Rather, it should be the presence of other operators in the market with equivalent dominance/power, who could balance out the market and keep it ‘in check’.

Kalaam gaining traction in 2011: Interview with Kalaam CEO: Veer Passi

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Operating in the most competitive of times, Kalaam Telecom has sustained its business model, become profitable and continues to deliver value to its clients. The past year has been an eventful one for Kalaam Telecom, as it has been for the telecom sector at large within the Kingdom.

“Consequent to the entrance of the third mobile operator in early March 2010, Kalaam was able to realign its strategy to take advantage of the resulting market dynamics,” says Veer Passi, Kalaam Telecom chief operating officer. “Not only have we expanded our market share in the corporate sector, but we also became EBIDTA positive in our fifth year of operation.”

“The aggressive marketing buzz created in the retail segment actually helped us in promoting our services to corporate businesses. The timing was just right; as corporations, faced with the current economic scenario, were looking for cost-saving options. It allowed us to gain momentum. Our established line of business solutions was well received by these clients, as they now had a practical option to help lower their communications costs.”

2011 Vision

“As we look ahead, we plan to expand the capacity and reach of our wireless and wired infrastructure,” advises Veer. “We will also participate in the Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) project, currently being finalised by the TRA.”

In the meantime, Kalaam intends to capitalise on the momentum achieved so far, continuing to grow its customer base through strategic marketing and to maintain the brand’s promise to be customer-focused, quality-driven and consistently provide value-based solutions.

“In the immediate future,” Veer adds. “Kalaam is hosting an inBusiness stand at both the Food and Hospitality Exhibition, at Bahrain International Exhibition Centre, from February 8-10, and the Middle East Financial Technology Market Show on April 18-19. So, please come down and see — we’d be delighted to talk to you”

Kalaam in 3D at Bahrain International Airport

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Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain: Kalaam Telecom, in a forward-thinking move, released their latest corporate campaign for 2011 in 3D! Now screening at Bahrain International Airport (BIA) till 31st December 2010, Kalaam’s 3D animated advert is showcased in three 42-inch 3DTV screens and requires no special glasses to view. Hosted by Balfour International Group, the 3D experience kiosks installed in both the arrivals and departures concourses broadcast continuous footage of vivid visuals and animated adverts that provide the 3D effect based on Phillips’ Wow 3D technology.

“We were keen to present the innovative spirit of Kalaam Telecom in a unique way. The 3DTV viewing experience without special glasses provided us with an ideal opportunity to launch our 2011 corporate campaign: “Experience the Kalaam Advantage” in this fresh approach to advertising. We are excited to be among the first telecoms to be involved in reaching our audience through this powerful 3D medium brought to Bahrain by Balfour Group International”, stated Veer Passi, Chief Operating Officer of Kalaam Telecom Bahrain.

“After many years of development, 3D screen technology is now surpassing all expectations in terms of impact for the advertiser and the general consumer. After successful launches of the 3D experience in the UK, the UAE, India and Germany, Balfour has now brought the 3D experience to the Kingdom of Bahrain,” says, Charles Firebrace, Head of Business Development, Balfour International Group.

“Creating an animated 3D corporate ad was an exciting challenge for us especially as we had no idea how the effects would come through‟, added Anna Kelly, Communications Manager at Kalaam. “As an alternate voice and data service provider, Kalaam Telecom’s 2011 corporate campaign focuses on the five-fold advantage Kalaam provides a customer. To highlight this message, through images that provide the depth required for the 3D effect in a 15 second spot was daunting, at first, but we are now very pleased with the released advert. It‟s quite engaging to see Kalaam’s message in 3D with the elements of the brand projected and floating in front of the TV screens.”

The 3DTV Screens are located at opposite Gate 12 in the Departures concourse and at the Green Channel Exit in the Arrivals Lounge at the Bahrain International Airport.

Kalaam Telecom appoints BBK as cash management partner

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Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain: Kalaam Telecom (B.S.C), one of the leading voice and data services provider has appointed BBK, a pioneer in commercial and retail banking as its cash management partner. The formation of this new relationship will aim to accelerate Kalaam’s receivables through accepting bill payments of its corporate clients over-the-counters in all BBK Financial Malls and branches allowing easy access to its customers through its wide presence across the country.

“We selected BBK for its demonstrated comprehensive cash management suite of services for corporate, which compliments Kalaam’s existing an d potential customer base,” said Veer Passi, Chief Operating Officer (Acting) & Chief Financial Officer of Kalaam Telecom. “We believe BBK’s branch network combined with the Cash Management solution offers our customers additional locations to settle their bill payments and simultaneously accelerates our receivables.”

“This partnership is one of a number of strategic commitments to ultimately enable our customers to better manage their working capital. At BBK, we focus on being innovative in providing services that increase efficiencies in managing the corporate financial supply chain,” said Sh. Rashed Al Khalifa, GM – Business Group, BBK.

“Now in our 5th year of operations, we at Kalaam strive to enhance our customer’s experience by providing hassle-free payment options to make post-paid bill payments easier,” continued Veer Passi, “we also offer multiple payment modes including an easy-to-pay online payment option on Kalaam’s website wherein all our corporate clients can login to their account and pay their bills through a simple customer-friendly interface.”

In addition to BBK’s extensive branch network, Kalaam Telecom partners with Bahrain Financing Company (BFC) and Bahrain India International Exchange (BIIECO), allowing Kalaam’s customers to make bill payments through more than 50 conveniently located centers.

Bahrain’s leading alternative operator moves to NGN with DIGITALK

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Kalaam Telecom, one of Bahrain’s leading alternative operators, has migrated to a full NGN solution using the DIGITALK SIP Application Server.

The growing acceptance and trust of VoIP technology in the region means that Kalaam Telecom has been able to optimise service offerings and are now able to more effectively grow and serve their subscriber base with a reduced operational cost model while being able to offer new revenue generating services on top of existing service offerings.

.The NGN DIGITALK Multiservice Platform (a SIP based Application Server) offers enhanced redundancy, security and load-sharing capabilities due to the integral Session Border Controller, enabling Kalaam to have confidence in uptime and solution availability to further enhance customer service quality and strengthen loyalty.

DIGITALK have extensive experience in migrations from legacy TDM to NGN infrastructures with many operators seeing the cost benefit of moving to an NGN.

Suleiman Maani, CEO of Kalaam commented “We were looking to take better advantage of the cost savings available by investing in NGN infrastructure and we had very tight deadlines in order to maintain service levels. DIGITALK’s project team were very flexible in reducing the standard project and installation times with a very successful switch-over.”

Mark Ashdown, EVP of DIGITALK added “As we see further adoption of SIP within network operators, the transition to NGN technology continues to gather momentum. Our relationship with Kalaam Telecom is a fine example of where strong vision is matched with a robust and scalable solution to ensure a cost effective service is delivered for all for the long term.”