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March 10, 2005

Dublin Firm Offers Pilot Voice Over Wi-Fi Service

By Nancy Gohring

Talktelecom has trialed a voice over Wi-Fi service in Dublin and is now introducing a pilot offering: The details of this are a bit thin and the company’s Web site doesn’t add much. Talktelecom’s head says that customers will be able to download a special application to their Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phone that will allow them to make voice over Wi-Fi calls via Talktelecom’s service. The company says rates will amount to 2 per hour.

The most interesting component of this announcement is the application. While it’s simple enough for companies to build applications that can be downloaded to PDAs and PCs, it has historically been difficult to offer applications to be downloaded to mobile phones. Java- and Brew-enabled phones allow application downloads. The newest model smartphones that include Wi-Fi may offer some more open platforms for applications.

The Talktelecom executive notes that half of mobile calls made by business users are made in the office and I’ve heard similar figures before. That means that this service could cut costs for enterprises if their workers use the voice over Wi-Fi service instead of the mobile phone network. Some companies like BridgePort are developing enterprise-grade solutions that tie into the corporate phone network and enable voice over Wi-Fi in the office. BridgePort must make deals with mobile operators for its service to work, however, and I suspect that may cause problems for it. An offering from a company like Talktelecom is likely far less expensive, though wouldn’t support as many services, and basically cuts out the mobile operator.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this post referred to a vague relationship between Talktelecom and hotspot operator BitBuzz, per reporting in the ENN story. I followed up with BitBuzz for more details and have learned that no such deal exists. ENN has posted a correction.

Posted by nancyg at March 10, 2005 2:10 PM

Categories: voice

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