Obsessed with technology?
Subscribe to the latest tech news as well as exciting promotions from us and our partners!
By subscribing, you indicate that you have read & understood the SPH's Privacy Policy and PDPA Statement.
News
News Categories

Singapore gets access to Zoom Phone and better connectivity with a local data centre setup

By Ken Wong - on 18 Aug 2020, 3:26pm

Singapore gets access to Zoom Phone and better connectivity with Zoom setting up a local data centre

Let Zoom handle all your communication needs

Zoom has announced that it is rolling out its Zoom Phone services in another 25 countries globally. This brings the number of countries it is available in to 43. This time round, Singapore and Hong Kong are the only countries in Asia to get access to the service. Prior to today, Australia and New Zealand were the only other countries in the region to have access to Zoom Phone. 

Launched in 2019, Zoom Phone is a cloud-calling solution designed for Zoom users who don’t need video and are happy with simple voice calls over VoIP. Zoom Phone turns Zoom into a communication and collaboration solution, giving users access to voice, conferencing, messaging, and video all-in-one solution.

On top of this, Zoom has launched the Global Select Plan. With this new plan, a company can purchase domestic calling in over 40 countries and territories where Zoom provides PSTN (public switched telephone network) service, for a single price. By providing a PSTN service, this means that Zoom is handling all inbound, outbound, landline and mobile calling for a company for a fixed price per user, per month.

New functionality with Zoom Phone

This is in addition Zoom’s existing phone plan, the Phone Pro option, which gives customers a Bring-Your-Own-Carrier model for companies that don’t require each employee to have a direct number.

Unlike competing phone services that offer metered usage or a pool of minutes, Zoom’s Global Select plan will give customers a more predictable telephony bill, Graeme Geddes, Head of Zoom Phone and Rooms at Zoom Video Communications said.

According to the company, the new global plan model provides:

  • Flat rates across 40-plus countries and territories: Pay just $20 USD per user/per month for a simplified unlimited domestic calling plan wherever Zoom Phone provides local PSTN service.
  • Unlimited calling: Unlike many calling plans that come with a “pool” of metered minutes, our unlimited plan gives users unlimited calling for one flat monthly rate for both mobile devices and landlines.
  • Mix and match calling plans: Our new plans enable you to add domestic, regional, or metered calling plans across 40-plus countries and territories to fit your organization’s needs.
  • Add unlimited international calling: For users who require higher-volume international calling, an add-on with unlimited calling in 18 countries and territories is available.

 

 

Singapore’s first Zoom data centre

The Zoom Phone Cloud service comes on the back of the company opening its first data centre in Singapore. This is the company’s first in South East Asia and the 18th globally. In Asia, besides Singapore, Zoom also has data centres in China, Hong Kong SAR, and two each in Japan and India.

Rather than building their own data centres, Zoom said that they work with multiple partners in order to scale across regions, such as Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Amazon Web Services.

With the Covid-19 pandemic, Zoom has seen its adoption in the region increase exponentially. In Singapore for example, free user sign-ups increased a whopping 65-fold in April 2020 compared to January 2020.

It is used in numerous industry verticals from the likes of property company PropNex, as well as Singapore’s Ministry of Education and its 45,000 educators and staff across 400 schools. But it wasn’t always rosy for Zoom, as security concerns initially delayed mass adoption until they were addressed. The company also rolled out updates to their app recently.

Zoom can now be used for voice calls

Abe Smith, Zoom’s Head of International, said during a virtual briefing on Tuesday that the company plans to hire engineers and sales staff to meet demand for services such as Zoom Phone and to scale the business in the region. He did not however provide any hiring numbers.

Smith also said:

We launched the data center in Singapore to improve our services, and demonstrate our commitment to the country and the region surrounding it. Singapore is a gateway to the wider Southeast Asian region, and as it rapidly grows and goes digital, we are keen to enable businesses and consumers in becoming more tech savvy.

 

Not the only one gearing up

One of the new Team features

Zoom’s competition hasn’t been idle either. Microsoft recently released an update to Teams as its adoption has been on an upswing and Google has also started pushing Meet over Duo as well.