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Announcements

Events, new features announcements, etc

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Further 2-way SMS coverage

As part of our continual efforts to extend the geographic coverage of our cloud communications platform, we are pleased to announce the availability of 2-way SMS support using Aculab Cloud in the following new countries:

  • Austria
  • Czech  Republic
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France

You will be able to purchase mobile numbers that support both voice and SMS via the Aculab Cloud portal.

You will find pricing on the Aculab Cloud website. If you are sending large volumes of text messages, please contact us as we can offer good discounts for larger volumes.

If you need any assistance in using our SMS API then a good starting point is this page in the documentation area of the cloud website, SMS introduction

If you would like email assistance then please contact us here: cloud.info@aculab.com

UK voice and SMS rate reductions

Like the idea of using a cloud communications platform, but are not so sure about using a US-located cloud for time-sensitive communications?

 

Want to have competitive rates from day one?

Aculab Cloud may be just what you’ve been looking for.

 

RELIABLE We’re a well established UK company, with a pay-as-you-go cloud platform for two-way voice, SMS and fax
LOCAL We run a European cloud for our European customers so call latency is kept to a minimum
COST-EFFECTIVE We have just reduced our prices for both voice calls and SMS to mobiles, so we’re now one of the most competitive in the market across the board
EASY Its an easy to use platform using high-level languages, but we have a highly qualified technical team to support you with your development if you need us

 

Time to give us a try…..

We already had very competitive rates for inbound calls and calls to fixed lines, now we’ve made calls to mobiles and outbound SMS cheaper. So whatever your requirement, we can offer market leading pricepoints.

UK price summary Old price New Price Saving Price in GBP
Outbound voice call, to fixed line  1.4c/min  1.4c/min 1.1p/min
Outbound voice call, to mobile 2.7c/min 2.2c/min 25% 1.7p/min
Inbound voice call 1c/min 1c/min 0.8p/min
Outbound SMS 5c/message 4c/message 20% 3.2p/message
Inbound SMS 1.2c/message 1.2c/message 1p/message

(All platform costs are billed in US cents, UK £ prices above given for your convenience. Contact us for large volume pricing).

And if you need to call or send SMS worldwide, we can cover that for you on the same platform with our global carrier relationships. Detailed pricing here.

 

Cloud-based speech recognition

Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems are widely used to provide automated call handling for businesses. But sometimes for the caller, remembering which digit to press to connect to a certain department is not so straightforward, and can be time consuming. In addition, with the prevalence of smartphones, it can be somewhat annoying to have to listen to the prompts, then bring up the numeric keypad display on the phone before you can enter your digit choice. Wouldn’t it be simpler if the caller could just speak the name of the department they required or speak the digits of a PIN code? Well, they can, using automated speech recognition technology, ASR.

Aculab have now brought speech recognition capabilities to the Aculab Cloud platform, which will allow developers to quickly build a speech-enabled IVR in a wide variety of programming languages. This new speech recognition feature currently has a vocabulary that would meet the needs of customers wishing to offer a speech-based replacement for the DTMF keypad on phones, and would allow the recognition of numeric digits and any word in multiple languages in the long term, but will initially roll out with English recognition only.

Application areas:

  • Recognition of department names
  • PIN number recognition
  • Last 4 digits of SSN
  • Staff names
  • Financial transaction types – Balance, Savings, Loan, BPAY
  • Town/City recognition – e.g. cinema times for your local town

If you would like to try the new feature, it is now live. You can find out more on the ASR page of the Aculab Cloud portal.

Two-way SMS now available in Finland

Finnish flag

We’re now able to offer local mobile numbers in Finland so you can send and receive SMS via the Aculab Cloud platform. This addition is working its way through to the live portal at present, so it will not appear as a supported country just yet – but if you need some details of our capabilities, get in touch. And if you need a Finnish number quickly, we can manually provision one for your cloud account in the interim.

Kiitos !

Contact us here: cloud.info@aculab.com

Lower prices for two way SMS

We’ve cut our rates for the two-way SMS feature on Aculab Cloud.

The new rates are as follows:

Destination Outbound SMS cost (per message)
Belgium $0.09
Spain $0.07
Sweden $0.07
United Kingdom $0.05

These rates are effective immediately. To take advangage of these rates you will need to upgrade to a production account, purchase a telephone number that supports SMS via the Aculab Cloud portal, and make sure the “enable-SMS” feature is selected. Rates for inbound SMS (all above countries) remain at $0.012, and outbound rates for USA/Canada remain at $0.009

If you are sending large volumes of text messages, please contact us as we can offer good discounts for larger volumes.

If you need any assistance in using our SMS API then a good starting point is this page in the documentation area of the cloud website, SMS introduction

If you would like email assistance then please contact us here: cloud.info@aculab.com

SMS now available in New Zealand and Australia

New Zealand

New-Zealand-flag

We can offer SMS short codes in New Zealand that have direct connection to the New Zealand mobile operators for use with your Aculab cloud application. Our SMS gateway supports one way or two way traffic, for bulk outbound (MT) messaging and applications where return path to receive messages from your customers (MO) is required.

 

Australia

Continue reading

Number rental – worldwide price reductions

Due to the continued success of the Aculab Cloud platform, we have been able to negotiate better deals with our inbound and outbound providers. As a result, and to follow on from the previously announced outbound PSTN call cost reductions, we can now offer you number rentals starting at $1 per number per month (previously $3). Continue reading

Aculab Cloud now supports SMS

We are pleased to announce that we have transitioned from our beta test phase and now fully support inbound and outbound SMS in six countries so far:

flying_envelope

 

 

 

● Belgium
● Canada
● Spain
● Sweden
● United Kingdom
● United States

Continue reading

Text-to-speech (TTS) capabilities enhanced and expanded

We are pleased to announce we have recently expanded our text to speech (TTS) capabilities by the addition of a third TTS engine choice – from IVONA Software.

With the addition of IVONA TTS, we are able to offer many more language options for developers. Here is a list of what is currently available:

  • Danish
  • Dutch
  • UK English
  • US English
  • Welsh English
  • Australian English
  • Indian English
  • French
  • Canadian French
  • German
  • Icelandic
  • Italian
  • Polish
  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • Portuguese
  • Romanian
  • Russian
  • Spanish
  • US Spanish
  • Swedish
  • Turkish
  • Welsh

The TTS documentation page gives further detail on choosing and using a TTS voice, including a link to a tool that will play samples of the voices available for a particular language or gender allowing a comparison to be made.

More voices are in the pipeline from IVONA. Take a look at their website to see what’s coming. If you don’t see the language you need then let us know.

Happy developing.

G.729 media codec now available for Aculab Cloud

We are pleased to announce that we are now able to offer the G.729 codec for use with our UAS APIs to customers who have a requirement for it.

The default codec for the Aculab Cloud platform is G.711, which uses 64kbit/s upstream/downstream rates to transmit the voice signals to/from the end user. G.711 is the default codec for the PSTN, and also for SIP-based phone systems. There are, however, tens if not hundreds of other voice codecs in existence, and G.729 is just one of them.

G.729 uses a higher compression ratio than G.711, using by default an 8kbit/s upstream/downstream transmission rate to convey the voice signal. Going back a few years, when internet bandwidths to businesses were more limited than today, it was important to use highly compressed voice signals to maximise the usage of the low rate links. Nowadays, these bandwidth restrictions have been alleviated, so in the majority of cases, there is no reason to select any other voice codec than G.711. But if you need it – we have it! Just let us know and we’ll sort it for you.

The G.729 codec was added following a request from an existing customer. We are always interested to hear your feedback on what features you would like to see supported on the platform. Get in touch if you have an idea

cloud.info@aculab.com

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