Truphone, the UK-based mobile Internet network operator, is broadening international public Wi-Fi access for its customers and automating the Wi-Fi login process at these global locations through a new agreement with Quiconnect. This will build on and augment existing public Wi-Fi access already established by Truphone while making it far simpler and faster for its customers to make mobile VoIP calls in public places, both in the UK or abroad.
Truphone uses the Internet to deliver voice calls for customers without requiring a separate handset to be used, as calls can be made on mass market Nokia mobile phones. Just like Skype did with PC-based VoIP calling, Truphone is making mobile VoIP a reality today worldwide. Using open source and standards-based software, Truphone calls are routed over Wi-Fi using SIP and RTP.
According to analysts, ON World Inc, the mobile VoIP market will see staggering growth with 70.6 million consumer cell-VoIP users expected by 2011, up from 480,000 last year.
Truphone will licence Quiconnect's Connector software, embedding it into its own solution, so that customers' handsets will automatically be authenticated at public Wi-Fi locations when in range. This means the cumbersome process of inputting login details prior to making calls is avoided as all the credentials and various scripts required for a customer to log onto a network are already preloaded. Truphone customers can therefore be completely focused on what they really want to do and that is to make telephone calls rather than worrying about access and log in.
As part of the agreement, Quiconnect will create a virtual Wi-Fi network for Truphone so that customers can access the Truphone service from public Wi-Fi hotspots across the world, including the most important, high traffic locations such as hotels, airports, conference centres, coffee shops and train stations.
Since active interconnections commenced in 2001, Quiconnect has built extensive virtual public Wi-Fi networks for its customers establishing numerous agreements with the world's leading telecoms companies and network operators and connecting them to its platform. This includes BT, Sprint Nextel, SFR, VSNL, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, various Chinese operators along with numerous network operators globally.
Over the next 12 months, Quiconnect will be establishing multiple relationships for Truphone with a number of companies, focused on the USA and Europe initially, so that customers travelling abroad can avoid paying GSM roaming charges by making and receiving low cost VoIP calls (where legal) on their mobiles. Quiconnect is also providing all the necessary financial and clearing house intermediary services to facilitate this.
Luke Vinogradov, Quiconnect's senior marketing manager, new products, says, "For the first time, we will be adding presence capabilities and creating arrangements with local Wi-Fi operators whereby Truphone customers don't need to have local subscriptions with operators to access their networks. Presence capabilities means customers will be automatically logged in at Wi-Fi locations but will only pay once a mobile VoIP call is made just like in the GSM world. This is fundamentally different from current Wi-Fi pricing models, where you start paying when you connect to a hotspot. We expect this new approach to pricing to make mobile VoIP usage explode."
James Tagg, Truphone's founder and CEO, says "Quiconnect does two important things for Truphone: it makes thousands of public Wi-Fi locations worldwide accessible and makes it easy to connect to them. Our customers can now just take their phones out in these public locations and make Truphone calls without even thinking about it."
Truphone selected Quiconnect as its public Wi-Fi integration partner because of its extensive wireless broadband industry expertise, new approaches to support innovative Wi-Fi pricing models, the broad relationships established with service providers and network operators, as well as technologies developed like Connector software.
Ali Khan, Truphone's director of business development says, "Going to each and every network vendor or service provider to establish agreements would be hugely time consuming. Working with Quiconnect centralises all this and capitalises on what they have already done. This means rapid network creation for us so that users can get pervasive access, plus clearly an opportunity for local Wi-Fi providers to increase revenue from their infrastructure by capitalising on the interest in mobile VoIP."
Truphone is the first company to take advantage of Quiconnect's new range of solutions for application providers to make its services available over wireless broadband. This includes connectivity tools for automated login of mobile devices on commercial Wi-Fi hotspots (Connector software); network integration and management services to connect large networks spanning multiple operators and geographies; and data and financial clearing services which provide flexible charging models based on the device used and application.