Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Is Rebtel moving into Wifi telephony?

Yesterday I have been quoted in Rebtel's new blog. My name was mentioned together with luminaries like Andy Abramson and Om Malik. Of course that makes me proud. The text was about the minute stealers debate and Rebtel finally admitted:
The question remains as posed last week; why does nobody admit that their company is a minute stealer?

Well, we at Rebtel are minute stealers, and proud of it.
But sometimes in blogs the real news leak slowly, pouring from the comments section. The question is now: Will Rebtel launch a new service on Wifi phones? Until now they make VoIP telephony possible even on the oldest cell phones, using callback and calltrough services. But their newest blog post makes me wonder what they are planning next. It shows the following quotes in the comment section:
Vivek Puri Says:
March 21st, 2007 at 5:40 am

Your argument is right and might apply more for people who are not that smart about what they pay. Most of the international callers are already placing VoIP lines on either ends to call for free. Also what about WiFi based mobile calling. Can Rebtel compete with them? Or How exactly Rebtel plans to compete would be the right question.
And then comes the answer the answer of Rebtel's Chief Marketing Officer Will Harris:
Will Says:
March 21st, 2007 at 10:00 am

we will be right at the vanguard of the wifi revolution, rest assured vivek. it’s going to be fun! we’ll be announcing stuff shortly.

thanks for your comments

I am so courious what that means. Will Rebtel start a service like Truphone on Wifi equipped cell phones? Will they finally give SIP addresses to their Rebtel inbound numbers?

Well, I would be prepared to check it out. I just installed the Wifi access point on my brand new Nokia E61.

But before Rebtel starts to rely even more on Wifi I would recommend them to get a new office in Sweden. The last time I talked to Rebtel's CEO Hjalmar Windbladh he was calling me by Wifi on his Nokia N80. The conversation was cut every few minutes until I gave up and called him on his fixed line. The explanation: Every few minutes when a tramway passes the Rebtel office the Wifi quality is severely affected and the calls drop.

One more thought:

Rebtel seems to have one of the biggest amount of inbound numbers in the VoIP industry. They offer RebIn numbers in 37 countries.

This means they give real local phone numbers to their costumers, which can be called from PSTN networks and are in fact SIP numbers, only that they don't work on softphones or ATAs. I could for instance get a Peruvian phone number to ring on my phone in Berlin.

I suppose these RebIn numbers would theoretically also work as SIP numbers on Wifi phones, the way Truphone does it. With this service Rebtel could blow Truphone all away. They would really become the worldwide Wifi phone network that Truphone tries to be. But Truphone clients get only numbers from the US or the UK with their accounts.


  1. If they do enter the wifi arena, they need to have an offering similar to or

  2. Truphone is in the process of acquiring local mobile numbers in a significant list of countries and looks forward to rolling out this local service (as we have done in UK and USA to date) as these numbers become available...


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