Telecommunications provider JAJAH this week announced the availability of a new technology platform that will transform the millions of iPod Touch devices now roaming the world in people’s pockets or purses, into fully functional mobile phones.
“The connected lifestyle is spreading,” Paul Naphtali, JAJAH’s vice president of global marketing told VoIPplanet, “particularly among college students. They’ve grown up in the last five years with Facebook—they have an iPod Touch in their pocket, which they use not only for music, but for Web browsing, games, and entertainment. The iPod Touch is such a fantastic device, we thought ‘Let’s give them the ability to make a phone call.’ ”
Anyone with the latest version of the iPod touch will be able to download the software from the Apple App Store. Then, with an appropriate headset and microphone, they’ll be able to make calls and send SMS messages whenever they’re in connecting range of a Wi-Fi network.
Pricing levels will likely be comparable to JAJAH’s existing services (the original Web-activated JAJAH, and the PC-independent JAJAH Direct)—which is to say, very, very inexpensive, possibly free.
The service will not appear under the JAJAH brand however. Rather, JAJAH’s customers will be carriers and other organizations eager to tap into this market.
“We’re getting huge excitement, not just from consumers, but also from our carrier partners, who are looking to innovate, but who don’t necessarily have the budgets or the capacity to continue to roll out what I call smart or advanced communications.” Naphtali said.
He went on to explain that, as part of the company’s evolutionary strategy in its first years of explosive growth, the decision was made to build a global, carrier-grade infrastructure, complete with all the necessary switching, billing, payment, and management systems, and termination capabilities in more than 200 countries worldwide.
This allows JAJAH to make both its front-end services—such as JAJAH Direct or this iPod touch application—and its entire back-end infrastructure available to other would-be providers on a turnkey basis. “They need to have a system which is easy to deploy, easy to manage, and fast to market. And that’s what we’re providing on our platform,” Naphtali said.
This will work even for non-carrier customers, who lack billing and/or payment infrastructure. “They can plug into us as a turnkey, and in the fastest possible time to market have a product out there under their own brand, servicing their customers—taking a leadership position—with very little investment in time and resource,” Naphtali commented.
While JAJAH is not announcing customers at this time—just the availability of the platform—Naphtali suggested that customer announcements will follow shortly. The company is actively engaged in “interesting conversations” with a significant number of carriers and non-carriers, not only in North America, but in Europe and Asia, “who really like the idea of putting phone calls on the iPod Touch,” according to Naphtali.