Professor Plum in the Ballroom with the Rope: The Who, Where, and How of Mobile VoIP.

August 8, 2008 by Tom Costelloe

There has been a lot of debate lately regarding the new Speedo swimsuits worn by swimmers in the lead up to the Olympics. The suits have been designed to reduce drag, thus helping to increase speeds and reducing energy used by swimmers. As I write, at least forty world records have fallen and most likely more will fall in the weeks ahead. These broken records don’t mean much to me. If it wasn’t for a magazine at the mechanics during my oil change, I would never have been aware of the advances in swimsuit technology. In order for an advance in a technology to catch my attention it must make some positive effect on my life. I’d imagine most people are like this.

Mobile VoIP, as good as it may seem to you or me must offer something unique and groundbreaking to the general masses before it will become widely adopted. To increase consumer awareness, we have to look at the who, where and how of Mobile VoIP. Once we understand what sets Mobile VoIP, the potential for wider acceptance will increase. I am going to look at two examples; a residential or end user (myself) and a business (one of my customers).

Like an increasing number of consumers, my cell phone is my predominant phone. In fact, I don’t even have a home phone. I rely on my cell and my cell alone. I get quite good coverage in my neighborhood and never have overage charges. For all of my domestic calls, I use my cell. However, I rely on Mobile VoIP to keep in touch with my family who are primarily based in Ireland. Add to that mix, many of my friends and former co-workers are spread across the UK, Eastern Europe and Australia. I toyed with having a VoIP phone in my house, but with the time difference it was always too late by the time I got home to call people. Weekends are too hectic to try and align two lives on different continents for a chat. So, one advantage to having a phone with Mobile VoIP cell is that on my lunch break, I can sit in a café and talk with any of my family or friends.

A recent customer was investigating mobile solutions for his employees. His employees spend a lot of time traveling between California, Southern France and Northern Italy. During the business trips to Europe, his employees were regularly making calls back to California on their phones and running up large bills. They had looked into using one set of phones in the States and one in Europe, but would only be saving on roaming charges. After a discussion we came up with a Mobile VoIP solution that matched their needs. Each employee was provided with a new phone that had been preloaded with the Mobile VoIP and some information on how to use the phone. From cafes, hotels, and worksites, they were able to calls the US at a relatively cheap rate.

I believe that it will be the advantages like saving money and ease of use that over time, add up to the greater acceptance of mobile VoIP. I still swim in soccer trunks, and no matter how many advances there are in swimsuit technologies, they are not going to make me a better swimmer. However, with every advance in Mobile VoIP services, I do become a more savvy caller.

Potatoes and Tomatoes: The varieties of Mobile VoIP.

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