Business VoWiFi Service Launches in UK

Two Irish firms join forces to bring low-cost mobile calling services to corporate customers, based on unique, intelligent call routing technology.

By Ted Stevenson | Posted Apr 5, 2005
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Dublin, Ireland-based VoIP solutions provider Cicero Networks today announced its first major telecom provider deployment. Talktelecom Ltd, an independent, fully licensed General Telco Operator also based in Dublin, is offering Cicero's mobile VoWiFi service to its corporate customers, following the completion of a two-month trial.

The selling point for this new service is low-cost mobility. According to Cicero CEO Ross Brennan, although the bulk of cellular ("mobile") calls are made from business premises—because of the convenience—the cost of cellular calls in the UK is many times that of fixed-line calls. This leaves a huge potential profit margin for a provider (and a technology) that can offer mobile phone service using the global IP network.

Talktelecom has deployed Cicero's complete solution, consisting of three components. Cicero Phone is a softphone client that in this case will run on dual-mode GSM/Wi-Fi handsets. Cicero Controller, the brains of the outfit, handles call management, call routing, QoS, and back-end authorization and authentication functions, as well as capturing billing data. The third component, Cicero Connect, is a gateway to the PSTN or other external network type.

"Cicero Networks' integrated end-to-end solution has given us a fast time-to-market in delivering a truly innovative and cost-effective wireless voice service," said Talktelecom CEO, Johathan Mills. "Cicero lets us grow our existing business and enter new markets while delivering a substantial return on investment in a short time," he added.

"Talktelecom is pioneering the advancement of fixed-mobile convergence by offering its customers wireless voice services at fixed-line costs," commented Cicero's Ross Brennan. Indeed, Talktelecom customers will be able to use the Cicero solution wherever a Wi-Fi connection is available. In aid of this, Talktelecom has partnered with The Cloud, which manages the UK's largest network of Wi-Fi hotspots.

According to a study cited by Cicero, of the €0.75 cost of a three-minute cellular call, about €0.69 goes to the mobile operator and only about €0.6 to the fixed-line carrier. By contrast, with the VoWiFi solution, all of the €0.15 cost of the same three-minute call goes to the fixed-line provider, leaving room for both higher margins and cost savings for customers.

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