Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Finally Truphone Anywhere comes out and proves me right

Truphone finally makes it public: According to fellow VoIP blogger Alec Saunders and the UK site Techworld, Truphone is set to announce Truphone Anywhere, a service that lets you acccess the Truphone network from any mobile, whether on WiFi or not.

You know what? I know this service since February and better didn't tell to not ruin Truphone's surprise. Research Director James Body showed it off secretly to me at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. That's what I wrote in a later blog post on February 29, 2008:
They always have much more advanced Truphone versions installed than normal users. The last lab version I saw in Barcelona was quite promising and solved a problem I was always nagging about.

I am don't think that the new Truphone Anywhere feature with its beautiful Skype like "A"-logo is a direct reaction to my nagging blog post "To make money from mobile VoIP, companies have to accept certain realities" from February, 1st. But it attacks the problem that "WiFi isn't everywhere and callback costs double", which was always my strongest point against many mobile VoIP business ideas like Truphone.

To solve it, I recommended a network of international callthrough numbers which users can dial for local prices to channel their mobile phone calls into the VoIP system of companies like Truphone, Gizmo5 or WiFiMobile. It seems that Truphone finally took my advice, after Wifimobile had already announced a similar solution and Gizmo5 always cooperated with Sipbroker for local callthrough.

Techworld now writes that Truphone could join the bandwagon because they have bought the travel SIM card provider SIM4Travel. But I guess that Jajah or Tpad could also have provided with the necessary infrastructure.
Truphone Anywhere dials a gateway on a local number, which then connects through to the destination number, saving money if it is an international call. Unlike some other services, this is transparent, with the call set-up handled automatically after the user dials the remote number. It is enabled partly by a recent Truphone acquisition, SIM4Travel, which provides cheap international calling through gateways in Europe.
Let's see if it's as cool as the Israeli mobile VoIP software miracle from Mobilemax which automatically connects the cheapest way. I am also wondering what came first: 1.) the acquisition of SIM4Travel, 2.) the last round of financing, 3.) Truphone Anywhere? The official Truphone version is 1, 2, 3. The financining allegedly followed one week after the acquisition on April 17, 2008. But I am pretty sure that it went 3, 2, 1.

I have now installed the new Truphone software 4.0. Anywhere doesn't work yet in Germany.

After contact with Truphone's tech support and a complete erase and reinstall it works now.