Mobivox Brings Voice-Activated VoIP to the Greater Phone Community

Mobile services platform makes it easy for traditional carriers—and online communities—to bring telephony innovation to their subscribers.

By Ted Stevenson | Posted Sep 24, 2008
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Mobivox, a Montreal-based provider of VoIP services, was officially launched about a year ago. It bears a strong similarity with a number of other VoIP-driven services—most notably Jajah—in that it is architected around call-back. That is, you let Mobivox know who you want to call (there are several ways to do this), and the technology launches both legs of the call, connecting both to your phone and that of the person you're calling. The call travels primarily over the company's IP network.

One of the beauties of this approach is that it doesn't care what kind of phones are involved. If they are mobile, or PSTN-based landlines, Mobivox just terminates to the nearest gateways, and saves you money. (Calls among Mobivox members—as with many of today's innovative VoIP services—are free. Calls to the worldwide PSTN are at greatly discounted rates, compared to standard landline and mobile carrier rates.)

What sets Mobivox apart is its sophisticated speech processing technology. When you dial into a local Mobivox access number, VoxGirl answers your call with a friendly "Hi, which person would you like to call?" If you want to call your friend Marie, you just reply "Marie," and VoxGirl (Mobivox's interactive voice response (IVR) technology) completes the call.

Others have offered voice-based dialing, but Mobivox's system doesn't have to be trained. It get things right from the get-go. It's even good enough that you can compose and send SMS and e-mail messages—verbally, over the phone.

Last month, Mobivox struck a deal with Jajah, making its MOBIVOX | PL voice-activated mobile service platform available to Jajah users, in a white-labeled program called Jajah Concierge.

Today Mobivox announced that its platform is now available to partners worldwide, including the full spectrum of phone carriers, as well as online communities.

"In launching this platform, Mobivox presents a way for carriers to leverage their existing resources," said Jon Arnold, independent VoIP analyst and principal, Jon Arnold & Associates, "without adding any capital expense or—equally important—appreciable user effort. There is no need, for example, for subscribers to 'train' recognizers to their individual voices, as we've seen with other voice-dial rollouts. Subscribers merely register the names and numbers of their contacts—if the information isn't already uploaded—and speak their names to call them."

"Early partner validation has already demonstrated the unique value proposition of MOBIVOX | PL for service providers looking to grow and profit from the mobile telephony market," commented Mobivox president and CEO Peter Diedrich.

According to the company, a voice-activated phone application can be deployed for partners in a matter of weeks, and can deliver services for any kind of carrier, regardless of the type of network they operate. MOBIVOX | PL deployments will support the full spectrum of Mobivox's services, which, in addition to basic one-to-one calling and SMS/e-mail services mentioned above, include ad hoc audio conferences of up to ten participants and calls to named groups (e.g., "tennis partners" or "project colleagues").

In addition to the IVR technology that places calls, the heart of the Mobivox solution is the stored online phonebook, which is accessible at any time from any phone or PC. Mobivox notes that many online communities—such as social and business networking sites, which typically have extensive stores of contact information—will be able to monetize the investment in their user relationships by offering their own branded voice services—again, with no additional investment in infrastructure.

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