Saturday, December 22, 2007

AVM has started to sell one of the coolest VoIP devices ever

The company AVM from Berlin has started to sell one of the coolest VoIP devices ever, the FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7270, but only in Germany. Fritz!Box devices are still lacking FCC approval and carry only the seal of Europe's counterpart, Communauté Européenne (CE). That's why people from many other countries cannot enjoy them. In my opinion they blow away all other VoIP devices from Linksys, Grandstream or Sipura. At least you can start to dream by reading the first press release from March 15, 2007.

FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7270
Premiere for the New FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7270 – Combines ADSL, VDSL, WLAN 11n, DECT and Media Streaming for More DSL, More VoIP and More Multimedia

  • New top-of-the-range FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7270

  • Integrated DECT base station; ADSL, ADSL 2+ and VDSL broadband

  • More WLAN with 802.11n and MIMO technology

  • Media streaming server for all music files a the USB port

  • HD voice with 16 kHz broadband speech codec

The FRITZ!Box family will be premiering its new flagship, FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7270, at this year’s Cebit. Thanks to its wide range of features the new FRITZ!Box is now more than ever your central data hub for home Internet access. The new FRITZ!Box enables a previously unknown wide range of options: broadband access via ADSL, ADSL2+ and VDSL, and operation of cordless telephones using DECT. The new IEEE 802.11n (Draft 2.0) wireless standard, also in use for the first time, offers optimum transmission of data, speech and HD video in combination with MIMO multiple antenna technology. The integrated media server lets you listen to music in your entire network even when your PC is switched off.

ADSL and VDSL broadband

The new FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7270 shares the award-winning details of the current FRITZ!Box line and is also incredibly easy to use. Using ADSL (6 Mbit/s), ADSL2+ (16 bit/s) and VDSL (50 Mbit/s) technologies, the new FRITZ!Box is ready for the future expansion of broadband connections. It supports permanent virtual connections (ATM PVC) for ADSL 2+ and virtual local networks (VLAN) for VDSL. This enables different quality of service classes for various services such as voice, video and Internet. FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7270 supports Internet Group Management Protocol (IGMP) for Internet streaming. IGMP is the standard for IP multicasting on the Internet, i.e. the sending of an IP data stream to several recipients simultaneously.

New WLAN features: 802.11n and eco mode

For the first time, FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7270 enables WLAN connections using the future IEEE 802.11n wireless standard, which is ideal for simultaneous transmission of data, voice and multimedia. AVM uses the recently unveiled Draft 2.0 of 11n, which also defines compatibility. MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) multiple antenna technology has increased WLAN quality and data transfer rates considerably. Wireless connections can also be established using 802.11g. FRITZ!Box is secure on delivery thanks to activated WPA encryption; WPA2 can be activated individually as required. WMM (Wi-Fi multimedia) ensures optimum wireless transmission of voice, data and multimedia and simultaneous transmission of multiple streaming applications. WLAN can be switched off using sleep mode or a switch. WLAN eco mode also lets you reduce power output considerably even when the device is in use. Thanks to eco mode, AVM already complies with the planned EU Code of Conduct on improving energy efficiency.

Integrated DECT – new sound with HD voice – VoIP encryption

FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7270 makes placing calls over the Internet or your landline (analog and ISDN) easy and convenient. TAE sockets let you use existing telephones without the adapters required by other products. Cordless calls are also possible thanks to the new integrated DECT base station, which supports up to six mobile components. The new FRITZ!Box is compatible with the first phase of the new DECT cordless standard (CAT-iq), which offers better voice quality thanks to more bandwidth. The internal ISDN S0 connection lets you use up to 8 ISDN phones and PBXs to access VoIP and your landline. Integrated bandwidth management (quality of service) enables parallel applications such as VoIP and HD video streaming. FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7270 delivers with HD voice (High Definition) a brand-new sound quality for Internet telephony. It supports the Linear PCM 16 and PCMA 16 voice transmission standards with a 16-kHz sampling rate. RFC 3551 defines the application of these standards for Voice over IP (VoIP), enabling top voice quality in phone calls. Calls over the Internet can be encrypted as needed. AVM uses two internationally standardized protocols, TLS (Transport Layer Security) and SRTP (Secure Real-Time Transport Protocol) for this purpose. Using important familiar features from ISDN, such as toggling, call waiting, call divert and three-way conference calls, is intuitive with AVM’s new FRITZ! product whether for Internet or landline calls.

More options – music server and new USB interface

The FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7270 USB 2.0 port enables new network applications, and the integrated music server lets you listen to music in your entire network even when your PC is off. Hard drives connected to FRITZ!Box can be operated in Windows as conveniently as a local hard drive. You can even have secure access remotely using FTP. Thanks to AVM USB Remote Architecture (AURA), all devices connected to FRITZ!Box behave as if they were connected directly to your PC.

Comprehensive features for more security and convenience

The new FRITZ!Box Fon WLAN 7270 features comprehensive software, including a telephone book, alarm clock, firewall, child lock, WLAN sleep mode and eco mode for reducing energy consumption. One button lets you pair handheld devices (DECT and WLAN), while another lets you switch WLAN on and off.

Wifimobile again outsmarted by Truphone's free offer

Wifimobile quits their flatrate model and goes prepay like Truphone. The move is said to be inspired by a blog post from iotum's Alec Saunders from Canada who managed to spend just $4.16 on mobile calls and roaming at the IP industry event Fall 2007 VON in Boston. Calls were handled by either TruPhone (if in a Wifi zone) or Mobivox (if not).

Wifimobile users can now set up accounts to make very cheap calls over Wi-Fi as per Truphone, and GSM Call through access as per Mobivox. The rates are competitive, such as under $0.10 per minute to India. You can find them here. The move was necessary because Wifimobile's previous flatrate model could not offer calls to many countries like India and the Middle East as it looked like this:
Only £15.99 €11.99 £7.99 Per Month

The oneFone service from WiFiMobile allows you to make unlimited* free calls to landlines in over 40 countries as well as mobile phones in certain countries including the USA. For a list of countries that you can call for free click here.

All calls to landline and mobile numbers to countries not listed here are automatically routed through your normal GSM provider. This allows us to guarantee that customers are never charged more than the set monthly line rental.

*The unlimited free calls are subject to a fair usage policy.

In the last months Wifimobile had to walk in the shadow of Truphone, because they offered calls to the same countries for free in a limited offer that always got extended. Calls to destinations outside these 40 countries could at least be completed as paid calls with Truphone, while Wifimobile just couldn't offer them.

As Truphone's free calls should have finished at the end of the year, Wifimobile hoped to compete on the same level with them and beat them with more VoIP features. An added enhancement is that people can register not only their cell phone but also the home or office landline for the use with Wifimobile's callthrough numbers. That brings more calls onto Wifimobile's VoIP network and makes their service usable outside of Wifi areas.

Truphone lacks such a nice callthrough feature and I am missing it, as I told in my blog post "Packet8 MobileTalk could be done much better". Wifimobile also offers real time call records, which can be viewed in a secure customer portal, and they are also currently working on an inbound solution.

But will this be enough to step out of Truphone's shadow?

It must have been a strong blow that Truphone has just announced the extension of their free calling to landlines (and some cellphones) in 40 countries until the end of February 2008, only one week after Wifimobile changed their business model. Free phone calls are still the strongest argument for the VoIP customer. Read both companies' press releases! I am quite convinced that Truphone will never charge for these calls. We can already prepare for the next extensions in March, July and December. That's how it worked in 2007.

WiFiMobile goes global with prepay VoIP and dial through service

Los Angeles California December 13th 2007 - Leading mobile VoIP provider WiFiMobile today announced that their VoIP service has changed to prepay with very competitive costs.

The company had previously charged a monthly subscription which allowed free calls to landlines in certain countries, however calls to all other worldwide destinations were barred. The introduction of a top up system now presents a global platform.

WiFiMobile’s new tariff rate has been completely revised and users can now take advantage of calls such as to India at under 10 US cents per minute. Calls to other online WiFiMobile customers are free regardless of location.

Their unique local access numbers remain in place where cheap calls can be made when no Wi-Fi access point is in range. These numbers are available in twelve countries at present with more to follow shortly. Customers can also register other numbers such as their home landline to utilise these access numbers. This combines Internet and dial through calling into just one account.

The service is available at the company’s website where their VoIP client oneFone can be downloaded instantly to any compatible Nokia E or N Series smartphone. A free $1 credit is applied to all new accounts to test the technology. Customers are also able to securely access the log in portal to view account balance, top up history and real time CDRs.

The company’s VoIP client oneFone fully supports Presence enabling users to see who is online at any time with other business features such as Call Conferencing, Call Transfer and VCC (Voice Call Continuity) coming soon.

WiFiMobile CEO says "This stretches out our potential market to places that we couldn’t touch previously. Countries such as India have over 200 million mobile users and have a huge overseas based population. Our rates are very competitive and we have the most robust VoIP client".

For further information please visit or email


Head Office:
3250 Wilshire Boulevard
9th Floor
Los Angeles
CA 90010

Tel: +1 310 459 3000 Ext 2



WiFiMobile were founded in 2002 and have offices in the US and UK. In 2004 the company achieved status of a Forum Nokia S60 3rd Edition Featured Developer, one of only 23 recognized worldwide.

VoIP client oneFone is a self developed and wholly owned application and provides cheap or free long distance calls as well as converting select Nokia devices into extensions of corporate IP IBX systems. The company is poised to achieve phenomenal growth in the next year in this rapidly evolving market.

Thursday, December 20, 2007
Truphone freezes call charges until the end of February 2008

Truphone today announced that all Truphone call charges have been frozen at their current rates until February 29th 2008. For the next two months, Truphone calls will be free to landlines in 40 countries, and to mobiles in the USA, Canada and elsewhere. Using Truphone to call EU mobiles costs just 15 pence per minute or less.

Truphone call charges summary
  • Free calls to landlines in 40 countries
  • Free calls to cellphones USA, Canada, China, Hong Kong and Singapore
  • Pay 15 pence or less to EU mobiles - and no connection charge
  • Free mobile calls to other online Truphone customers
  • No roaming fees: Truphone calls costs the same wherever you are
  • No download cost, no monthly charge and no inbound fees
  • These rates are guaranteed until February 29th 2008. Rates quoted are exclusive of VAT
  • Anyone with a suitable handset can get Truphone by sending an SMS with the word 'Tru' to +44 7624 000000

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Free calls VoIP widgets make me get funny phone calls

Since my last post "Call me for free with Tringme!" I get funny calls from Senegal and other far away countries. They go through Tringme, but also my click to call widgets from Voxalot and Sitòfono. Somebody must have spread the word that I give support on certain VoIP services and devices. No wonder that people call me, since it's for free.

I am OK with such calls, but please understand that I can only answer during working hours in my time zone. The rest of the calls goes to the voice mail box. The yesterday's caller didn't even understand that he was talking to an answering machine. He thought that I was on the phone with him but refusing to answer, so he got a little upset. Also I had serious problems to understand his Englisch and the e-mail address he left.

I think for such purposes it's still the best option to contact me over the contact form on my website. The last caller who came through caught me on my cell phone in a department store when I couldn't help him at all.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Call me for free with Tringme!

Much has been said about startups like Ribbit, Tringme or Flashphone which use the Flash browser plugin for click to call widgets. Aswath Rao even declares 2008 the Year of Flash based VoIP Clients. I can only say that you don't have to wait till next year to call me for free using Flash. I love my Tringme call widget:

These calls are entirely free to you, because the caller speaks into the Flash widget on my website using a headset or the laptop's built in phone and speaker. On Linux the sound is a little bit weird. The automatic voice, which says "please wait while we connect your call" before every connection, sounds like a 45 rpm record played on 33. The phone call itself sounds like Mickey Mouse, but still the the words are understandable. On Windows everything works just perfect.

Also to me these calls are entirely free. Other than my widgets from Sitòfono and Voxalot where I have to pay to call the person who wants to contact me.

I achieve this by using FWD as SIP provider to power the Tringme widget. The Tringme account website says "Connect my phone and voicemail widget to Phone number or extension". Unfortunately it accepts only numbers and no SIP addresses in this input mask, but as a workaround I have simply put my FWD number there. In the "TringPhone SIP Settings" part of the account configuration I left my FWD login data. Which means that every Tringme call is in fact a free FWD on net call. You can probably do the same with Gizmo Project's SIP account data and phone numbers, as well as with many other VoIP providers.

Also there is another widget for people who don't want to talk to me, but just leave a voicemail.

Only seconds later I get a call and a voice says "You have a Tringme" before it plays the message. The Tringme widgets are much better than Gizmocall which also allows free calls from a website.

You could call me for free by simply typing in your browser's address bar. This website also uses Flash, but additionally you have to install a plugin for Windows or Mac. For ten months yet Gizmo owes us a Linux plugin. Although the company's CEO, Michael Robertson, even has his own Linux distribution, Linspire.

But why bother? The Flash browser plugin gets more and more versatile and works on all platforms. It's a new way to disrupt the telco industry, circumventing the PSTN and offering a new option for free phone calls that so many people appreciate.

So, if you want, please give me a Tringme call!

And, before you ask: No, I couldn't get Truphone's Facebook application running, which should basically do the same like Tringme, only that it uses Java. After one week of tinkering I gave up. But congratulations for winning the "Red Herring 100 Global" Award.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

What does the the new free phone calls startup Dringg do?

Does anybody know the new VoIP startup Dringg? They make me very courious with their announcements. The Facebook site of Jeff Heubo, CEO and Co-Founder, says;
Keep your cell/landline device(s) & phone number(s).
Our ambition is to build a "Free Call Network" so that anyone could use his or her cell/landline phone to reach worldwide cells & landlines at zero cost.
No download - No Pin - No Wifi or 3G - No Java.

"Dringg is a fast, free and easy way to call family & friends' cells / landlines from yours, no matter where they're physically located", says the company's website. But so far that's the only useful information. Sounds quite interesting, but I have no idea what's behind it. The company seems to be located now in San Francisco, CA. But the founders are from France.
Dring project was fully initiated by Jeff Heubo & Stephane Orey, both friends and co-workers in La Defense, the biggest European Business Center.

Jeff and Stephane studied Business & Telecom Engineering. After a few years un Spain & the US, idea came to build a free alternative to paid calls so that people could just Dringg themselves from their existing landlines and cells.

Obviously they are paving the way for a launch and seed pieces of information to create interest. Jeff Heubo invited me to be one of the first Alpha testers and says that it deals with free calls. But he doesn't tell more and hopes I understand that. A hint could be his Twitter page which says at the top:
“Never be first to market, make something good Greater”
Steve Chazin

So what kind of business is Dringg improving? Jajah? Pudding Media? Yak4ever? Maybe Jeff Pulver shouldn't have headed to Israel to hunt for talents, but better contacted these two French guys.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Cubic Telecom's Maxroam in alliance with Celtrek

Irishman Pat Phelan, CEO of Cubic Telecom, is improving his product Maxroam. In the hype time around TechCrunch 40 competition in September 2007 we thought to see roaming prices around $0.20 in every country with this SIM card. That's not a reality yet, but not forgotten as a longer term aim. Now Cubic Telecom announced a cooperation with the folks at Global Roaming which offer a very similar SIM card, called Celtrek. The partnership will allow both companies to offer extended geographic coverage and data roaming on their existing products. Celtrek is stronger in the US market and Maxroam here in Europe.

Phoneboy Dameon Welch-Abemathy revealed an interesting detail in his post on The VoIP Weblog:
What wasn't announced in the press release, but slipped out on Pat's Jaiku stream was that the MAXroam service would soon be much cheaper in the US/Canada. Right now, it's prohibitively expensive, but Pat is saying by early 2008 the price should be about 12 cents (presuming Eurocents here). I'm not going to hold Pat to those rates, but if it's true, it does sound a fair bit better than the 1.18 Euros it now costs to receive and make calls within the USA.

Andy Abramson explains:
While their pricing isn't lower than buying local SIM cards, they do save you money if you are going from country to country, and you avoid a lot of unused minutes. They also give you the benefit of one number so friends and family can find you, making it a great gift for the student you know whose going to take a trip overseas.

Yes that's right. The pricing isn't lower than local SIM cards, but it's super convenient for frequent travellers to always have the same number on their SIM and don't have to worry too much for roaming prices. I am already playing around with a Cubic Phone from Pirelli and a Maxroam SIM card. The sound quality is fantastic while roaming on the German Vodafone network. I have a UK fixed line number for Maxroam and could also add a German number. They all would ring in whichever country I am.

The only thing that holds me back is that for Germany they only offer numbers from Hanover while I live in funky Berlin. He Pat, didn't they tell you that Hanover has the fame of being Germany's most boring city? So boring that in the 80ies and early 90ies Punks regularily gathered from all over the country to mix it up at least one time a year in their famous Chaos Days. So when I roam I will simply forward my existing Berlin number to the Maxroam UK number. As a Voipchecker I know how to do that for free, this I can save the €4.50 per month for a German Maxroam number.

Anyway, here is Cubic Telecom's press release:

Cubic Telecom and Global Roaming align forces
Alliance will focus on joint opportunities

CORK, Ireland – 30 November, 2007 – Cubic Telecom dba MAXroam and Global Roaming Inc. dba CelTrek have today announced a strategic alliance combining their marketing reach and technical know-how into a single partnership.

The partnership will allow both companies to offer extended geographic coverage and data roaming on their existing products. This is a substantial step forward for both companies in their goal to provide a single global communication platform that brings an end to the monopolistic behavior of the large cellular operators.

Pat Phelan said “I am delighted that Global Roaming has decided to partner with Cubic and I look forward to a world where anyone can call anyone at anytime without worrying about the cost.”

Florian Seroussi, CEO of Global Roaming Inc. said “This alliance gives us an opportunity to get a footprint in Europe in order to spread our ambition of offering low-cost roaming to consumers everywhere.”

Through the partnership both companies are currently actively engaged in joint proposals to large US and European enterprises and announcements on these are imminent.

ABOUT Cubic Telecom
Based in Cork, Ireland, with offices in Vancouver, Canada, Cubic Telecom is an innovative global communications company focused on introducing simple, high quality and high value telecommunications services. Its core target market is aggrieved customers across the globe who don’t understand why they can’t get value for money when making international calls while roaming.

ABOUT Global Roaming Inc.
Global Roaming, Inc, is a privately held Nevada corporation, with offices in Miami, Florida. The parent company has over 350 GSM network operator agreements covering more than 165 countries and all continents.

For further information, please contact:

Media Contact
Giovanni Rodriguez,
The Conversation Group
M: +1 650 279 8415

Patrick Smith, Sonus PR
T: +44 (0)20 7851 4890
M: +44 (0)7734 600553

Company Contact
Cubic Telecom Limited
Pat Phelan, CEO
+353 21 425 0657

Cubic Telecom Limited
Unit 1, Webworks
Eglington Street

Company Contact
Global Roaming Inc.
Jenny Callicott, COO
+1 305 249 3121

Global Roaming Inc.
1021 Ives Dairy Road
FL, 33179