Efax, the US company that provides over a million Americans with a free Internet fax service, is gearing up for a UK launch.
The vendor is bulk buying as many phone lines from UK and European providers as possible, in preparation for a launch at the end of next month, said Susan Lazareff, director of marketing, eFax Europe, who was once head of marketing at Packard Bell.
Initially subscribers are expected to come from the small business, mobile professional and consumer space, but the vendor has aspirations to get into the corporate market, with products planned for next year.
Subscribers get a free fax number, which allows them to receive faxes for free on their PCs, but will have to pay regular phone charges to send them.
The service will provide a free number for life, as long as the subscriber's details remain on record. The company said it would use the customer information to push sales of additional (paid for) services. Future services will include Internet based voice messaging.
Efax sold fax machines for 10 years under the name Jetfax, but rebranded itself for a US launch of the new service in February. Efax is winding down its traditional business that is worth about US $30 million.
The vendor will be beaten to the market by yac.com, which intends to launch a similar faxing and voicemail service, which appears an attachment to an email. Yac (you're always connected) will also offer a single free personalised phone number that will redirect to a mobile phone or landline anywhere in the world, at the domestic mobile rate. Yac has bought one million numbers from Oftel.
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