SingTel determined on own OTT service despite legal setback

Summary:The telco is back to working on an alternative after its "all-in-one communications app", LoopMe, was scrapped following legal complications in Israel ahead of its scheduled launch this month.

SINGAPORE--SingTel has been back to the drawing board to find a new replacement for its own over-the-top (OTT) messenging platform , which it had earlier planned to launch this month but eventually scrapped following legal complications.

loopme
Screenshot of SingTel's LoopMe messaging app.

Earlier this year, it had partnered Amdocs to produce a "all-in-one communications app" called LoopMe, which was positioned as a killer app that would have taken on OTT services such as WhatsApp and Viber. However, it was soft-launched in April for iOS but later removed. The project was cancelled because of a copyright infringement suit filed by Israeli startup T-Jat Systems against Amdocs, according to Globes news agency. Amdocs has since refuted the charges and counter-sued.

"We are working internally to overcome the setback from LoopMe and to come out with something that is just as good," said Allen Lew, CEO of group digital life at SingTel, during an earnings briefing "We had a partnership with a company based in Israel to do this, it didn’t quite work out."

He explained LoopMe was an initiative to test in the Singapore market if it could do something that would be better than what current OTT players offered .

One of the drivers behind the project was SingTel's desire to differentiate itself from competitiors, said Lew. He added the telco had been noticing a significant number of customers communicating with their friends and relatives through means other that what SingTel traditionally provided as a telco.

"At the end of the day we are still determined to come up with something that makes a difference and allow us to continue to engage our customers," he said. 

Lew added it was a "small setback" which was part of coming up with new services. SingTel said it was studying other alternatives but was unable to reveal further details or a timeframe at the moment.

The telco has over the past few years been shoring up its digital content and products as part of a wider move to diversify away from its core carriage business and tap new revenue streams from growing data usage and bundling services.

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Topics: Apps, Singapore, SingTel, Telcos

About

Loves caption contests, leisurely strolls along supermarket aisles and watching How It's Made. Ryan has covered finance, politics, tech and sports for TV, radio and print. He is also co-author of best seller "Profit from the Panic". Ryan is an editor at ZDNet's Asia/Singapore office.

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