WiFi, cellular and a ROKy rumour
Something in the air? Or the first Monday back after the August holidays? Who knows…but today does seem to have been a bit of a day for companies launching “mobile” voice over IP services of some kind – even if one or two barely qualify for the term.
First up is Mobiboo, which is launching a WLAN based VoIP service using the UTStarcom F3000 WiFi handset and the Mobiboo Dashboard PC phone.
The service will enable users to make calls if they are in range of an open WiFi hotspot or wireless router and Mobiboo has partnered with The Cloud for hotspot coverage in the UK.
While Mobiboo’s solution is WLAN based, aql is offering trial peer-to-peer wi-fi calling to anyone who has a Nokia E60, Nokia E61 or Nokia E70 handset. To connect to aql, Nokia Eseries users need to text ‘nokia’ to aql short code 64446 and their phone will be configured automatically.
aql said that the outbound caller ID across wi-fi is the same as the subscribers’ existing GSM number, and whenever possible calls are routed over wi-fi to reduce the customer’s call charges.
aql managing director, Dr Adam Beaumont csaid, “We are keen for all Eseries users to text-in so that they can experience for themselves the quality of our mobile VoIP service, without the necessity of switching from their existing GSM provider. The free offer is simply intended to prove that wi-fi VoIP calling can deliver an excellent mobile service, with the ability to run alongside GSM for whenever callers are outside of a wireless hot spot.
Finally, we hear on the grapevine that ROK (best known perhaps for its ROK TV service) is launching a free mobile to mobile VoIP service tomorrow. Advance whispers are hinting at a free application with no need for subscription or bundling purchase.
We’ll see if we can get any more details for you tomorrow, but services that can reach the greatest range of handsets as possible, and require no extra subscriptions or dual mode phones, may just get the mobile operators worried.