iBasis’ Scale and Global IP Network Allows VoIP Calling Service To Offer Consumers and SMBs Low International Calling Rates Using Existing Fixed and Mobile Phones
BURLINGTON, Massachusetts – 06/16/2008 – Pingo (www.pingo.com) , the prepaid VoIP calling service (Voice over Internet Protocol) from iBasis (NASDAQ: IBAS), today announced rate reductions on fixed-line and mobile phone international calling to 70 countries by as much as 59 percent. The sweeping discounts are made possible by the scale efficiencies of iBasis, one of the top three carriers of international phone calls in the world. This enables Pingo to provide substantial savings on consumer and small business phone service to the more than 100 countries reached by iBasis.
Unlike traditional calling plans, prepaid calling cards, international calling cards and other VoIP services, Pingo allows consumers to purchase minutes on an as-needed basis and make calls from any fixed or mobile phone. Mobile phone users in particular can save as much as 90 percent through Pingo.
Examples of Pingo’s reduced rates on international calling include (costs are per minute in U.S.) savings of 58 percent to Jordan (5 cents) and 57 percent to Bangladesh (6.5 cents). Savings on calls to Iraq range from 59 percent for fixed calls outside of Baghdad to 48 percent on fixed calls to Baghdad (both 7 cents) to 33 percent savings for calls to mobile phones throughout the country (12.75 cents). Additional countries with savings of 24 to 50 percent on both fixed and mobile international calling include: Egypt (12.9 cents), Honduras (17.5 cents), Kenya (14 cents, 5 cents for fixed calls to Nairobi), Qatar (20 cents), Saudi Arabia (12.5 cents fixed, 14 cents mobile) and Tanzania (13.5 cents). International calling to many Latin American countries have also been reduced with mobile rates to destinations such as Panama (10 cents) and the Dominican Republic (10 cents) discounted by nearly 30 percent. To see Pingo’s complete list of all 70 country international calling rate reductions visithttp://www.pingo.com/.
“As a service of iBasis, Pingo takes advantage of the most extensive international VoIP network in existence, which enables us to pass along dramatic savings on international calls,” said Jayesh Patel, vice president of business development and strategy for iBasis. “Pingo is a simple and straightforward way to save; there are no hidden fees or extended contracts and customers can use existing phones without being tethered to a computer or having to purchase additional gear. Pingo is the best of ‘all calling worlds,’ and even if you have an existing phone plan, it’s a tremendous way to save on international calling.”
Pingo overcomes many challenges associated with traditional calling plans and prepaid calling cards. Customers can buy low-cost calling minutes online on an as-needed basis without incurring hidden fees, surcharges or any contractual obligations. Pingo only charges a low account maintenance fee of 98 cents per month. Customers can use existing fixed-line or mobile phone; no additional equipment purchases or software downloads are necessary. Pingo offers easy online account management and minutes can be purchased with credit/debit cards and PayPal. Subscribers can also pay in four currencies, compare rates in more than 38 others, and interact with automated phone voice prompts in a variety of languages including Chinese, English, French, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian.
Other features of Pingo service include:
- RateWatcher: This feature allows customers to view precise rates from country-to-country with a new “minutes tab” calculating the exact number of calling minutes available to a particular destination based on account balance;
- Customized Alerts On Rate Reductions: To take advantage of breaking rate reductions — including Pingo Happy Hours and Happy Days offering savings of up to 50 percent — customers can receive automatic customized email alerts on the countries they call most. Automatic alerts also appear when customers log into their Pingo accounts;
- Automatic Account Recharge: Customer accounts can be set to automatically recharge when minutes are running low. An interactive voice response system also alerts customers of low balances, and by simply pushing the * key, funds can be replenished;
- Fast Speed Dialing/PIN-Less Dialing: For easy calling, Pingo customers can call local access numbers and use speed dial to quickly connect. Pingo’s PINpass feature even eliminates the need to enter a PIN number;
- Easy Account Management: Starting a Pingo account takes seconds, and with features such as history reporting and online management, phone budgets are easy to control;
Additional Savings: New subscribers to Pingo get an additional $5 credit. Customers also get free minutes for referring friends to the service.
- Security: Pingo’s website is VeriSign Secured (a trusted provider of international transaction security). Pingo also does not store any credit card information on premises to eliminate hacking and accidental exposure of customer data.
Pingo also provides SMBs with reliable, low cost, easy-to-manage international calling for up to 999 employees on an as-needed basis. Called Pingo Business (www.pingobusiness.com), employees can use any fixed-line or mobile phone to achieve up to 90 percent savings on international calls. Administrators can set individual spending limits, easily monitor usage and manage balances through a single, centralized account.
Pingo and Pingo Business customers can access the service in 35 countries, including the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, the U.K., France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Russia and Thailand.
Taking advantage of The iBasis Network, Pingo enables consumers to realize the cost-savings of VoIP or Internet telephony from regular fixed or mobile phones without any need for additional hardware or software. Pingo offers consumers high-quality long distance service on a prepaid basis, along with a host of convenient usability features. Pingo customers save on calls to both landline and mobile phones in almost every country. Mobile phone users in particular can save as much as 90 percent on international calls by using Pingo’s toll-free access and lower rates. Pingo minutes can be purchased with credit and debit cards, as well as PayPal, at www.pingo.com. Customers can access Pingo from toll-free and local access numbers in 35 countries, including the U.S., Australia, Canada, China, the U.K., France, Germany, Israel, Japan, Russia, and Thailand. As a “white label” offering, Pingo’s integrated campaign management, credit card processing, fraud filtering and low prices for international termination makes Pingo a compelling platform for companies with web presence that want to leverage their brand with telephony services without having to develop a proprietary solution.
Founded in 1996, iBasis (NASDAQ: IBAS) is a leading wholesale carrier of international long distance telephone calls and a provider of retail prepaid calling services and enhanced services for mobile operators. iBasis customers include KPN, KPN Mobile, E-Plus, BASE, and many other large telecommunications carriers such as Verizon, Vodafone, China Mobile, China Unicom, IDT, Qwest, Skype, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, and Yahoo. In October 2007, iBasis acquired KPN Global Carrier Services to create one of the three largest carriers of international voice traffic in the world, and KPN became a majority stockholder of iBasis. On a pro forma basis, the combined company carried approximately 24 billion minutes of international voice traffic in 2007. The Company can be reached at its worldwide headquarters in Burlington, Mass., USA at +1 781-505-7500 or on the Internet atwww.ibasis.com.