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US telecom firm sees Visayas as big market for its cheap VoIP services

[ Manila Bulletin Online ] July 22, 2008
By MALOU M. MOZO


CEBU CITY – Momentum Plus, a US-based telecommunications company, is upbeat about the Philippines as a strong market for expansion through its multilevel marketing (MLM) strategy.

It intends to expand its distributor base to 25,000 members by yearend.

Lance Lomako, Momentum Plus chief executive officer, said the company is anticipating that the bulk of its membership growth will be coming from the Visayas area, particularly in Cebu, as the region chalked up a 420 percent increase last year.

"It is the No. 1 performing region in the entire world," Lomako said, but added the country, in general, contributes to about 80 to 90 percent of the company’s development.

Momentum Plus is a networking company with presence in 50 countries. It offers telecommunication services capitalizing on the voice over internet protocol (VoIP), among others.

Its handsets plug directly into one’s computers and USB ports, enabling the users to avail himself of unlimited call worldwide for $ 4.95 per month.

It also provides a portable device that can be used from an internet café while talking for free whether in the Philippines or abroad.

John Cicotte, the company’s chief operations officer, said the huge bulk of overseas Filipino (OFW) market in the country makes it a big market opportunity to grow its customer-base considering the need for many Filipinos to communicate with their families.

At present, Momentum Plus has 5,000 independent owners nationwide, with majority of them are family members and friends working abroad.

OFWs and their dependents here spend not less than $ 100 on phone calls per month, making them a potentially attractive market for Momentum Plus, Lomako said.

He said Momentum Plus’ rate would reduce rates for international calls, especially in the United States, which usually costs $ 0.15- $ 0.17 centavos per minute.

On top of easing telecommunications cost, customers can also earn residual income by participating in the company’s MLM strategy for a membership fee of $ 99.

"We are excited to grow our distribution centers here," Lomako said in a press conference as he bared the company’s plan to enlarge these centers to 100 sites all over the country.

In line with this thrust, he said that Momentum Plus’ long-term plan that includes establishing headquarters in Cebu, possibly constructing a 122-story tower by 2013 that will house of a banking system, money remittance, and residential units for its members.
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