ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
QUESTIONS FOR TRIPALLY FROM WWW.ASEANAFFAIRS.COM
1. Please provide a brief background on how you were inspired to come up with the TripAlly platform?
A frustrated family member, who received an enormous roaming bill after vacation in Europe, initially inspired the concept of TripAlly in early 2016. The founders of TripAlly, who have an extensive telecom experience, went to the drawing board and envision a concept of accessing mobile data during international travels, without necessity to change a SIM-card or any extra device. The solution had to be pure software based and delivered via installed application on the smartphone. The theoretical concept of how the solution is supposed to operate was laid down within several weeks, at the same time we were doing a market research for solutions that existed on the market and provided connectivity for international travelers. Needless to say that we were very surprised when we didn’t find any comparable solutions on the market that would offer easy and stress-free data connectivity while one travels internationally. Further, we discovered that all the existing solutions could be separated into the 4 archaic methods, which haven’t been improved or changed in years. The existing solution could be placed into four categories: roaming; changing a SIM-card; hot-spot device a.k.a. pocket Wi-Fi; or public/”free” Wi-Fi. After such discovery, TripAlly team went to the R&D stage, to develop a signaling/back-end part of the solution, which should be implemented into the partner mobile operator in the country. By the end of 2016, we have realized that we have a unique product, which could be introduced to the market and shown to the mobile operators. In 2017 TripAlly’s team conducted many negotiations with investors and mobile operators to insure that we can launch our services across several tourists popular destinations in Southeast Asia.
2. How does the TripAlly platform work, and state its uniqueness?
TripAlly is delivered to the customers via app on their mobile devices: smartphone or tablet. As I mentionedbefore, the unique feature of TripAlly’s platform is seamless and stress-free connectivity to the mobile data for international travelers as it was never done before. Earlier, we have discussed the four ways (archaic) how people stay connected while they traveling.
First and most unpopular is roaming; due to its incredible high price roaming has become a very unpopular solution among travelers. The number of roaming users significantly decreasing year on year, however,it is the model that still exists among mobile operators.
Second and most inconvenient is process of changing a SIM-card to local or global SIM-card. Although, it provides travelers, with cheaper mobile data plans, it carries severe unpleasant experiences associated withthe process of changing a SIM-card. Not only traveler loses his/her original number, which could lead to disruption of banking and credit card services (because your bank simply cannot reach you on the phone or send you OTP verification), but also traveler has to go through process of purchasing the necessary SIM-card either in airports or in retail outlet. Furthermore, if traveler decided to purchase a local SIM-card, he/she has to spend some time in queue and might encounter foreign language barrier, which could be a dreadful experience on its own after the flight. Although, it’s quite easy to purchase a local SIM-card in airports across Southeast Asia, but even progressive and developed countries couldn’t offer such a simple services. It’s very rare to see such services in developed countries, in most of the US international airports such service simply doesn’t exist and travelers have to scout for local SIM-cards in unknown cities.
Third and most demanding is purchase or rent of mobile hot spot or “pocket Wi-Fi” device. Travelers have to spend extra money for renting or purchasing an extra device, the data plans itself not very cheap as well, the travelers also have to remember to keep it charged all the time and carry an extra device with them all the time. This simply can lead to frustration and annoyance, especially if you travel in-group or with family, then the whole group has to stay together to use Internet at the same time. I’ve yet to meet a person who wants to willingly carry an extra device with them all the time, just for the purpose of stay connected, it’s simply an enforced necessity.
Fourth and most restricted & unsecure is public/ “free” Wi-Fi in restaurants, coffee shops or hotels. Internally we have defined this category as “Wi-Fi chasers”. You can see them on a daily basis, especially in Thailand, people who would come to venues, which offer a “free” Wi-Fi, such as restaurants, bars or coffee shops. People, simply do not have any other choice, but to use such alternative solution, but Wi-Fi network always limits you by its distance or range. Traveler can’t use Wi-Fi on the beach or in the national park, or anywhere else outside the Wi-Fi zone. On top of that, we all aware that public Wi-Fi is the most unsecure connection one can make. It could expose traveler to hackers attack and to the loss of personal information.
With TripAlly, all above-mentioned inconveniences will disappear.First time user will have to do only four simple steps to obtain mobile connectivity: download the application, choose the destination country, pick a travel dates and choose the package. Once the traveler lands in other country, mobile data would be provided to him/her upon activation of his/her mobile device after the flight. In addition to the crucial to every traveler mobile data, TripAlly will offer several additional services, which are desired by travelers. Such services as discovery of local attractions and venues, sale of tickets to local attractions and transportation services, all provided within a single platform, will make traveling an easy-flow experience and transform travelers into the savvy local within hours instead of days or weeks. In future we intend to offer more services for travellers.
3. What is the fee structure for Internet users?
At the moment the fee structure is following: 1 day of unlimited mobile Internet $3 USD (100 THB); 1 week of unlimited mobile Internet $15 USD (500 THB); 2 weeks of unlimited mobile Internet $27 USD (900 THB). Our research shows that people are willing to pay a flat reasonable price for unlimited Internet access.Consumers would like to have an understandable pricing policy from companies, many costumers don’t realize how much is gigabyte or megabyte and how much data they need. Most of them have a very specific utilization of mobile devices, which users don’t want to change, when they travel. For customers more important question is would I able to access to my Facebook page or Instagram account? Or make a Skype or Line call to my relatives and friends? This is one of the main reasons TripAlly would offer unlimited access to mobile data, with certain speed limitations.
4. Who will be your Internet provider in Thailand?
We are in negotiations with several major mobile operators of Thailand, however, at this stage we wouldn’t release their names until the official announcement.
5. As a result of the ICO of your “AllyCoins”, how much did you raise?
During the ICO we have raised 1250 ETH, which on the moment of ICO end was worth approximately $360,000 USD.
6. What will “AllyCoins” be used for?
Ally token was created for payment purposes across the platform, where one Ally would be able purchase one day of mobile Internet and other services offered across the platform. Further, tourists and travelers will use Allys to pay for local attraction and at local establishments and venues.
7. How many establishments/companies in Thailand have agreed to accept “AllyCoins” so far?
At this point we have over 200 establishments in our network and we intend to grow that number during this year.
8. Can investors still buy “AllyCoins” now, and from where?
Investors can purchases Ally tokens on the open market via crypto-currency exchanges.
9. How much is the “AllyCoin” worth now, and what was the ICO price?
At this moment there is a correction and bearish tendencies on crypto-currency markets, Ally hasn’t escaped that trend and went down to $0.55-0.65 USD per Ally. During the ICO the purchased price was between $0.7-$1.4 USD.
10. Why did you choose Thailand as the launch pad?
Thailand is perfect location for such application as TripAlly. Last year Thailand has welcomed over 35 million tourists. The average duration of the stay by tourist is 7 days. I believe that such application as TripAlly will help to increase the number of travelers in Thailand and other ASEAN countries where TripAlly will be present later. Furthermore, since TripAlly increases the local discovery, I believe it would lead to additional spending by the tourists and travelers.
11. When do you plan to launch this app?
We intend to release TripAlly to public in the 3rd quarter of 2018.
12. How much investment have you put in so far?
At this moment almost $0.5 million USD were spent on TripAlly so far.
13. Where else do you plan to expand your services to?
Our goal is to take TripAlly services to the neighboring countries such as Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia and other ASEAN countries. Later, our goal is to make TripAlly a global and leading company in travel tech industry.
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