Truphone today announced availability of a free, beta, VoIP software download for Wi-Fi-enabled, mass market mobile handsets, bringing free/low-cost mobile calls to millions.
The first download is for Nokia´s latest E-series handsets, with the N-series handsets to follow imminently. Support for additional Wi-Fi-enabled phones, including those built on the Windows Mobile platform, is to follow.
Calls between ´on net´ Truphone handsets are free worldwide. As a launch offer to the end of the year, USA users will get free calls to USA/Canada and UK users will be able to call some two billion landlines in major countries for free. All other Truphone calls from the user´s mobile will be charged at characteristically low VoIP rates.
Provisioning, installation and use have been designed to be as easy as possible. Users send an SMS with the word “TRU” to a designated number [see Notes to Editors], provisioning takes place ´over the air´ and the software installs itself quickly and easily on the mobile handset. Truphone integrates seamlessly with the phone using the existing address book, so there´s nothing to re-type. Once set up to use a Wi-Fi hotspot, the handset connects automatically next time the phone is in range.
Support for Truphone SMS messaging is imminent, while presence functionality will also follow. Further out, geo-location, community-building and other features are planned. Truphone has been developed by an international team, largely using open source software. Correspondingly, it has opened a discussion forum at www.mobilevoipforum.org where users and developers alike are encouraged to comment, question or contribute.
The SIP-based software incorporates several leading-edge techniques, including the self-healing, small-footprint AMR codec to ensure optimal call quality even under less than optimal conditions; and, unlike other Wi-Fi applications, Truphone uses smart, low-level coding to minimise battery usage.
James Tagg, Truphone´s chief executive, said: “Truphone is the natural evolution of VoIP. First people talked to a PC, then they were tied to fixed-line handsets and now Truphone takes VoIP mobile. Free calling has arrived on mass-market handsets.”