The starter was David Beckemeyer, alias Mr Blog. He is CEO of TelEvolution, the producer of the PhoneGnome, which connects normal phones to VoIP and to Skype. He got quoted by Andy Abramson, daily blogger and CEO of Comunicano, a Californian public relations firm. Another piece came from iotum's CEO Alec Saunders.
The circle of argumentation reminded me of what Thomas Anglero, yet another big VoIP expert, said in december:
As I read through the VoIP blogs, it is clear that VoIP bloggers and the VoIP community itself, does not allow for just anyone to become a member. VoIP bloggers talk about each other (over-and-over), and the VoIP development community only respects those who have done something so glorious before in code. This mindset will kill our industry.Although blogs are open for comments and trackbacks, the matter of VoIP still seems so difficult to understand (or is it so boring?) that sometimes near incestual relations between blog posts arise. Today everyone seemed to agree on that Fring sucks. Which I see totally different. That's why I feel the need to comment it in my blog as well.
Andy Abramson said:
I think Fring is cool, but I question its utility, especially in GPRS and even EDGE markets where the audio sounds so muddy that its not what you would want to use for a business call.And David Beckemeyer:
Like many other cell phone users in the US, I have GPRS data service rather than a true 3G data service with my carrier. My first experiences with Fring over GPRS were not very good.Alec Saunders followed up by criticizing Fring's monetization strategy, arguing that Fring might have some cool features but the guys don't know how to make money with them.
I think they all have lost the point: Fring is the best application to control nearly all important chat and VoIP applications together in just one program. In Europe the mobile networks are as fast as DSL connections. Fring's voice quality is no big deal anymore.
Also you have to see that Fring is much more than a VoIP client. In fact you don't need an extra VoIP client on Wifi enabled mobile phone. The congfiguration of a Nokia E61 is fairly easy and there are loads of web pages which explain how to do it.
The really cool feature is that Fring is a chat client for MSN messenger, Google Talk and Skype at the same time. It is the only way to bring Skype on a Symbian phone and on my Wifi the Skype calls sound great. Isn't that marvelous? I even tried in on GPRS. The voice is understandable. Only the delay is too long.
I use Fring to chat with my buddies. We send text messages instead of SMS. One SMS costs me 15 Euro Cent. But for the same price I can send thousands of chat text messages, since my no frills mobile operator Simyo charges only 24 Euro Cent for 1 MB. Overall I will have to pay 2 Euros for GPRS this month.
Thanks to Fring.
(Disclosure: I work for none of the companies mentioned in this blog post.)