Thursday, July 12, 2007

Skype Founding Investor invests in United Mobile to "deliver a combination of Truphone, Jajah and Skype"

Skype's founding investor Morten Lund is investing in the international mobile network operator United Mobile. That's an international cell phone company, comparable to Roam4Free, GoSIM, BlueSIM, Che Mobil, GlobalSIM, SunSIM, TouristMobile or others, which allows outgoing calls at low rates in over 80 countries and to receive free incoming calls without roaming charges.

Morten Lund seems to brim over with enthusiasm for United Mobile’s business strategy of combining its services with so called Web 2.0 functionality and says:
“The business rationale behind United Mobile’s decision to integrate Web 2.0 features into its service offering is compelling. The organisation’s key objective is to transfer the Skype model to the mobile phone for average Joe who is travelling. United Mobile will deliver a combination of Truphone, Jajah and Skype on a “One SIM card Service”. The company will be a leader in delivering free mobile telephony worldwide. This pioneering new business model will be widely adopted in the world’s leading mobile markets in the near future.”

Free mobile telephony worldwide? That's what we want! At least me and all the VoIP telephony tweakers out there who are always looking for the cheapest way to call.

But what about "Truphone, Jajah and Skype on one SIM card"? Is there something going on between these companies? As far as I know from my professional life, United Mobile would need an authorization to mention the other companies' names in a press release. So where Truphone, Jajah and Skype involved in the press release? Or is United Mobile just name dropping them?

Is there something going on behind the courtain? A dark power forging a new VoIP empire out of these four companies?

As far as I see, United Mobile should have the best rates to terminate international cell phone calls. Truphone, Jajah and Skype could envy them. Also United Mobile has its own SIM cards. It would be very convenient for Truphone, Jajah and Skype if they could start their services from a SIM card, instead from their rather slowly phone client or mobile web page. Also it's obvious that these three minute stealers cannot expect support from mobile incumbents. So it would make sense to cooperate with a worldwide mobile MVNO.

Truphone has just presented their new Multi-SIM capability, which supports travellers who take international SIM cards with them abroad. Calls to their Truphone number will reach them whichever SIM they're using at the time. That's nice, but could be even more convenient. Who wants to always change his SIM card whenever he or she arrives at the Airport? Maybe soon it's not necessary anymore to change the SIM card? When will we see a real TruSIM? When a JajahSIM or a SkypeSIM?

Get out of the closet!

Fellow blogger Moshe Maeir already explained here and here how Jajah's access to Intel's patent portfolio helps them to embed Jajah's telephony functions at the chip level of mobile phones. All these developments explain how VoIP companies drool over more speed on mobile phones. Their applications start pretty slow on often feeble and battery sucking cell phones. It takes a minute until you are connected to Wifi and have established a call with one of their softwares.

I guess: Either the four companies are developing secretly something together, to make their mobile VoIP applications start faster from a SIM card. Or United Mobile is developing an application to blow them all away. In this case they have just used the brand names of Truphone, Jajah and Skype for press release name dropping.

At least I'm sure that United Mobile's next press release can be even more interesting. What do you think?

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