Early this morning, Singtel announced the launch of Wavee, a “next-generation IP-based communications app”, similar to the likes of popular messaging apps WhatsApp, Line, and WeChat. The app will allow users to not only send messages, but also make high-quality voice and video calls.
Wavee shares many popular features with other communications apps:
- Send videos and photos to friends
- Create group chats
- Share a location
- Stickers (locally-themed)
- Sketching function — allows users to send a sketch, either over a photo or with a solid colour.
Another interesting development is that Android users have the option to integrate SMSes into their Wavee message inbox, making Wavee the central location for all incoming messages into their phones. Singtel says that this service will soon be available to iOS users as well. By the end of 2015, Wavee will also allow users to make calls to any local number.
Mr Johan Buse, Singtel’s VP for Consumer Marketing, said, “People are looking for richer, more seamless and personal ways of communicating. With Wavee, we are giving our customers a holistic, end-to-end service.”
This is the first time a local telco has launched a service like this, which is interesting, as Singtel has been notably the most vocal in claiming that telcos should be allowed to charge Internet content providers like WhatsApp for the use of their network services.
“The main problem we have as an industry is we have been unable to monetise this increased demand…and [average revenue per user] has fallen over time,” SingTel chief executive Chua Sock Koong had said early last year. “I think the pace of change in our industry is relentless so clearly we can’t afford to stand still.”
Well, if you can’t beat them, join them?
(All Image Credits: Singtel)