Latest Developments in VoIP over Mobile

IP telephony over cell phones—and other mobile devices—has been catching on for some time now, giving users the convenience of placing and receiving long distance and international calls at a fraction of the expense of cellular termination rates.

This week, two leading players in the VoIP over mobile realm— UK-based Truphone and Silicon Valley-based JAJAH—both announced programs that promise to greatly expand the reach of their cost-cutting services.

JAJAH covers the mobile waterfront
JAJAH, which last week announced an application to turn the iPod Touch into a mobile phone, this week announced VoIP solutions for a bevy of mobile devices: BlackBerry, Symbian-based cell phones, and Windows Mobile-powered devices.

The BlackBerry application—downloadable over the air from JAJAH or from a corporate BES server—will integrate with the user’s on-handset address book, providing the option of calling via JAJAH for any contact.

The Symbian solution will work for phones running the Symbian s60 operating system and provides JAJAH-based calling over a Wi-Fi connection. The application automatically detects the presence of an available Wi-Fi connection and makes the JAJAH option available whenever a long-distance number is dialed—or launched from the address book.

Windows Mobile users will enjoy full SIP connectivity over either HSDPA (3.5G cellular data service) or Wi-Fi. In fact, this solution is already deployed in Japan by the carrier eMobile.

As with the iPod Touch VoIP solution, the three service implementations announced this week are not offered directly to end users, but as a turnkey ‘white label’ offering to carriers and other organizations that want to make innovative, cost-cutting international calling available to their customers—without investing in development or infrastructure.

Truphone unites the world.
London-based Truphone—which provides low-cost long-distance and international VoIP calling over a host of cellular handsets—this week unveiled plans to vastly simplify the connected lifestyle for frequent international travelers.

Truphone Local Anywhere, slated for actual deployment some time in the latter half of 2009, will allow travelers to take advantage of low Truphone local calling rates in any of countries the program will include, using one handset, one SIM card, and one phone number. This is in contrast to the current practice of maintaining a separate phone and/or SIM for each country regularly visited—or paying exorbitant international cellular roaming rates.

Making all calls local calls, whatever the country the caller happens to be in, will save some 80 percent of the cost of cellular roaming charges, the company estimates. And no roaming surcharges will be added to calls received, when visiting a Truphone Local Anywhere-supported country.

Truphone has not released details of what countries the program will cover, but bet on most or all of Western Europe and selected destinations in Asia.

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